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European Qualifiers Group E

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European Qualifiers Group E

Gerrard ready for tough test

Captain Steven Gerrard admits England will need to be at their best when they lock horns with Montenegro in Tuesday's World Cup qualifier.

Last Updated: 25/03/13 at 23:43 Post Comment

Steven Gerrard: England captain prepared for tough test in Montenegro

Steven Gerrard: England captain prepared for tough test in Montenegro

Montenegro hold a two-point lead over Roy Hodgson's side at the top of Group H ahead of the pivotal clash in Podgorica after both countries triumphed - against San Marino and Moldova respectively - on Friday evening.

Gerrard, who missed England's 2-2 draw in Podgorica 17 months ago through injury, said: "We believe, if we play to our level, we are more than capable of three points and that's what we have come here for.

"We know we've got to play close to our maximum to beat this good team. We know if we play anywhere near our level, we will get the result.

"We are concentrating on what the manager wants of us, to be very good defensively and play attacking football when we get the ball.

"These are the big games you want to play in. These are the atmospheres and stages you want to perform on as a player and a team. We will get a lot of credit if we get the result."

Gerrard insists he will not be making any special speeches in the dressing room before the game.

"Will I say anything before game? Not really," he added. "I just say my piece along with anyone else who wants to speak as well. The manager gives all the players the opportunity to speak.

"I don't think this is a game for talking. All the players realise how important it is and we need to do our talking on the pitch

"I've got a lot of confidence in my team-mates. They've got some wonderful technicians but I've got confidence we are a better team if we play to our ability."

Gerrard also shrugged off the comments of Montenegro coach Branko Brnovic who branded England scared long-ball merchants who think they have already qualified.

"It just shows we've got them exactly where we want them," said the Liverpool midfielder.

"They seem to be more interested in saying things and doing all the talking. But talking doesn't win you football matches.

"I'm not really too interested in what they've got to say in their press conference. Or in ours, to be honest.

"I'm more interested in how the lads play in training and when the first whistle goes."

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