Gerrard confident of World Cup spot
England captain Steven Gerrard said he is “really confident” of World Cup qualification after the Three Lion secured a 0-0 away draw to Ukraine.
England sit a point clear at the top of Group H with just two games remaining – both home games against Poland and Montenegro – but their last outing in Kiev has been met with great criticism.
Former England striker Gary Lineker slammed the performance of Roy Hodgson’s men, labelling their play against Ukraine as ‘woeful’.
But Gerrard believes that qualification for Brazil 2014 is within the team’s grasp and that with a number of injured players set to return to the squad, England fans will soon be rejoicing another World Cup spot.
“`I think we lacked a little bit of a cutting edge in the final third (against Ukraine), but that isn't a worry because there are some big players missing for England at the moment,” Gerrard said.
“If we can get [Wayne] Rooney and [Daniel] 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.”
And despite the draw in Ukraine, Gerrard believed the England squad had gone a long way to answering their critics.
“Two clean sheets in four days answers a lot of critics,” Gerrard said. “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.”
Information from the Press Association was used in this report.