Steven Gerrard is confident he can peak at the World Cup.
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England’s midfield dynamo Steven Gerrard earned himself an envious reputation when he began his Three Lions career – he became his nation’s talisman. Put simply, when Gerrard played, England didn’t lose.
In his first 21 Senior appearances England did not taste defeat once. As such, Gerrard became recognised as an integral part of the national set-up and his influence and status grew accordingly.
Now, with 78 caps under his belt, he is very much an England stalwart whose form remains under close scrutiny from management and fans alike.
“I think [my form] could be better. If you look at it throughout the season as a whole, I’m not totally happy,” said Gerrard at a recent Nationwide World Cup Roadshow event. “I haven’t reached the level I’d like to be at but it’s not worrying me because I still have confidence that it can switch and turn to where I want to be at any given time.
“I have played well at times this season but I have also come out of games where I haven’t been totally happy. I’m my own worst critic, I know myself when it’s good and when it needs to be stepped up, and the challenge for me now, in the remaining games, is to step it up and try and drive Liverpool into [fourth place in the League], try and go to the UEFA [Europa] Cup Final and then focus on the World Cup if I’m selected to go.”
Despite Gerrard’s critical run-in to the end of the season with Liverpool the World Cup looms large for many players, and the fear of getting injured before Fabio Capello announces his final squad cannot help but play on the minds of those in contention for a berth.
“I believe with this manager we’ve got in charge of us the key time for this squad will be the time when we meet up, up until the first game. We’re basically going to be living together, training every day, sometimes twice a day, and hopefully we can learn a lot off each other by the time the first game comes around.
“I think we’re in a good situation, the team are winning and confidence is high but I still believe we’ve got some learning to do and some improving to do if we are to go all the way [in the World Cup]. And also you need that bit of luck to keep players fit and keep the squad healthy.
“Injuries play a big part but I don’t think you can be worrying and thinking about them. We’re in March and there are still some very big games for Liverpool and that’s my main priority at the moment.
“You can’t afford to go into any training sessions or games and not give it 100 per cent. But if you get injured it’s basically unlucky, but you need to deal with it and get on with it. I certainly won’t be holding back or easing off because there is a World Cup around the corner.”