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Gerrard: England will qualify

England captain Steven Gerrard has told the nation's fans he is confident of safe progress to the World Cup finals in Brazil next year.

Last Updated: 12/09/13 at 10:09 Post Comment

Steven Gerrard: Happy with the result from tricky trip to Kiev

Steven Gerrard: Happy with the result from tricky trip to Kiev

The 0-0 draw in Ukraine moved Roy Hodgson's men one point clear at the top of their qualifying group with two home games left, but the laboured performance in Kiev was heavily criticised by media pundits for the lack of creativity and goal chances.

"I think we lacked a little bit of a cutting edge in the final third, but that isn't a worry because there are some big players missing for England at the moment," the Liverpool and England skipper said.

"If we can get (Wayne) Rooney and Sturridge fit they will be two big players for us, and they are the type of players you will need to break down the two teams we are coming up against.

"Our record is quite good at Wembley. We proved that by beating Brazil there so if we defend as we did against Ukraine and have a little bit more of that cutting edge in the final third, we will get there. I am really confident we can get the job done."

Gerrard is looking forward in particular to seeing Liverpool team-mate Daniel Sturridge line up for the country again.

The Reds forward was the obvious replacement for Rooney when he was ruled out, but the 24-year-old had to pull out himself because of a thigh problem.

Sturridge has had a stop-start international career - mainly due to him being played out of position while at Chelsea - but he seems to have found contentment since his move to Liverpool, where he has scored five goals in four games.

"The stage is set for Daniel if he can get himself fit," Gerrard added. "He is in terrific form."

Despite severe criticism of the performance from Gary Lineker among others,

Gerrard insisted the result was "terrific" in Kiev and added: "Two clean sheets in four days answers a lot of critics.

"I thought Phil Jagielka and Gary Cahill were brilliant, and you have to add Ashley Cole and Kyle Walker in to that. I thought Ash was unbelievable.

"Every big game I have played with Ashley Cole he has stood up and been terrific. He and Kyle Walker kept their two danger men quiet.

"Joe (Hart) did everything needed of him and I am sure these two clean sheets will do wonders for his confidence."

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o Brendan is full of sh!t, who'd have thought it eh?

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resumably, you wanted to keep the version of Downing that was never seen at Anfield. The one that another manager has managed to re-create. The one you passed over.

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