No holding back for Gerrard

Steven Gerrard has pledged that England will go at full throttle in their final pre-World Cup friendly against Honduras.

Last Updated: 06/06/14 at 20:15 Post Comment

Steven Gerrard (l): England will not hold back

Steven Gerrard (l): England will not hold back

Steven Gerrard has pledged that England will go at full throttle in their final pre-World Cup friendly against Honduras, despite seeing team-mate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain sustain a potentially tournament-ending injury.

Roy Hodgson's men have spent this week in Miami acclimatising to the heat and humidity expected when they head down to Brazil.

Their time in Florida has been punctuated by warm-up matches at the giant Sun Life Stadium on the edge of the city, with Honduras the opponents on Saturday following a 2-2 draw with Ecuador on Wednesday.

It was a match which saw Oxlade-Chamberlain impress on his return from a groin injury, only to then suffer medial ligament damage in his right knee, potentially ruling him out for two to three weeks.

Hodgson has promised to give him the maximum time to prove his fitness and England captain Gerrard says the Arsenal midfielder is remaining "really positive" about an injury that will not result in team-mates shirking challenges.

"I think the players have got to be professional and sensible in training," the Liverpool skipper said. "We don't want any stupid tackles and any unnecessary injures.

"But in the game, there's no holding back. We're here to train and play as hard as we can and that'll certainly be the case tomorrow against Honduras.

"We want to win and we want to go in confident against Italy."

Oxlade-Chamberlain will be joined on the sidelines for the Honduras match by Raheem Sterling, following the teenager's red card against Ecuador.

The Liverpool winger was sent off along with Antonio Valencia late in the 2-2 draw and Gerrard, one of the seven players rested, consoled his team-mate as he made his way off the field.

"One of my roles as captain is to look after the young players - not just Raheem because he is at Liverpool, but any of the young lads," he said.

"I'll always look out for them and put my arm around them at the right time because it happened to me when I was younger as well."

Gerrard was speaking on the eve of the Honduras match at England's Barry University training base, where the mercury tipped 30 degrees Celsius and the humidity was at 49 per cent.

The conditions were not far off those expected in Manaus for the World Cup opener against Italy on June 14, but Gerrard knows replicating the Amazonian climate is nigh-on impossible.

"I think preparations have gone very well," he added. "The heat out here has been perfect for us getting conditioned and used to the heat.

"But it is going to be different - I don't think there's anything like Manaus. We understand that and we've still got a week to go, but we're exactly where we want to be at this moment.

"Hopefully we come through tomorrow's game with a good win, a good performance and no more injures. Then I'll be really happy going into the week building-up to Italy."


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