Steven Gerrard knows England can’t afford to slip up against Montenegro and Poland…
England and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard knows there will be no excuses should his country fail to qualify for next summer’s World Cup in Brazil, he told the Mirror.
England know victories at home to Montenegro and Poland in the coming week will guarantee they top the qualifying group ahead of Ukraine and Poland themselves.
“This is as critical a week as English football has known for a long time,” said Gerrard, who won his 100th cap for his country earlier in the year.
“There’s a lot of expectations, from the fans, the media and in and among the group as well. Everyone wants to be at this World Cup. So it is very critical. We need to go out and deliver. It doesn’t come much bigger than this,” added the 33-year-old.
From a personal level, the World Cup in Brazil could be Gerrard’s last international tournament, and he will be determined to do well. England have failed to get past the quarter-finals in any tournament Gerrard has played in for his country, losing out on penalties twice to Portugal, and once to Italy in World Cups or European Championships.
“We all know how much the supporters want it,” Gerrard continued, who scored his first goal of the season from the penalty spot at home to Crystal Palace at the weekend.
“Also for the country itself it would be a disaster if England weren’t in the World Cup, especially in Brazil.
“I don’t like using the word ‘disaster’ or ‘catastrophe’, but the Brazil World Cup is going to be so big. Individually and collectively, we all want to be there.”
England laboured to a 0-0 draw in their last fixture against Ukraine, but now have the on form duo of Daniel Sturridge and Wayne Rooney available once again.