Steven Gerrard says England can top World Cup qualifying group despite draw in Montenegro
Montenegro 1-1 England
FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014
8pm, Tuesday 26 March 2013
City Stadium, Podgorica
Steven Gerrard remains confident England can top World Cup qualifying Group H - despite being forced to settle for a draw in Montenegro.
The Three Lions remain two points adrift of the Montenegrins after Dejan Damjanovic's second-half equaliser cancelled out Wayne Rooney's early effort.
Roy Hodgson made six changes to the line-up which beat San Marino 8-0 on Friday, with captain Gerrard returning to midfield along with James Milner and Michael Carrick.
And the rejuvenated line-up had an instant impact when Rooney headed the visitors in front after just six minutes.
But Damjanovic poked the ball past Joe Hart 14 minutes from time to earn the hosts a share of the spoils.
Gerrard said: "We stopped playing after the break for 20 or 30 minutes and away from home you can’t do that.
"We stopped passing the ball and that’s when we lost control. I think they deserved the equaliser.
"There was a lot of experience out there and we showed that in the first half – we controlled the game.
"But the problem is, at 1-0 you’re always vulnerable – you’ve got to go on and get that second goal to be in complete control and we didn’t do that.
"They took control of the second half – up until the last ten minutes – and they deserved the draw."
However, Gerrard insists England have what it takes to qualify automatically for the Finals in Rio.
He added: "We’re still confident we can finish top of the group. We need to win all our games and we certainly need to improve on the second half performance and play like we did in the first half.
"We need to go and get three points when we go to Ukraine and we need a perfect result at home."
1 Joe Hart, 2 Glen Johnson, 3 Ashley Cole, 4 Steven Gerrard (C), 5 Joleon Lescott, 6 Chris Smalling, 7 James Milner, 8 Michael Carrick, 9 Danny Welbeck, 10 Wayne Rooney, 11 Tom Cleverley (20 Ashley Young, 77)
Substitutes not used
12 Kyle Walker, 13 Ben Foster, 14 Leighton Baines, 15 Steven Caulker, 16 Frank Lampard, 17 Scott Parker, 18 Leon Osman, 19 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 21 Jermain Defoe, 22 Daniel Sturridge, 23 Fraser Forster.