Sunday, 27 June, 2010
Skipper says it is time for players to stand up and be counted.
England captain Steven Gerrard has told his team they can’t have any regrets after Sunday’s last 16 clash with Germany.
The Liverpool midfielder was superb as England beat Slovena 1-0 on Wednesday to set up the hugely anticipated game, and he knows that this is the time for his side to stand up and be counted after they lost to Portugal in the 2006 World Cup quarter-finals.
“When we played Portugal last time it was massive and we were desperate to win it,” he said.
“That game has gone, it’s history, and we can’t control any of that, but we can control tomorrow’s game.
“Now we have to make sure we play well and have no regrets afterwards.”
And Gerrard reckons Wayne Rooney can spark into life against Joachim Loew’s men in Bloemfontein.
He added: “Top players put pressure on themselves and I’m sure Wayne is doing that in his spare time.
“It’s only a matter of time before Wayne scores in this tournament and we are hoping that is tomorrow.
“He has been playing well and looking sharp in training, and I’m looking forward to seeing how he plays tomorrow.”
But it is not just about one man, and the skipper knows that every England player must be prepared to give their all if the country is to progress in the competition.
As he told FIFA.com: “You need every player to give everything they’ve got and every player to perform at a high level.
"Germany are a fantastic team and they are going to be difficult to beat; but they are beatable. We’ve got good players and we’re on the back of a good performance and a victory, so we’re confident. We’re really looking forward to the game and can’t wait until kick-off."
The last thing Gerrard wants is a re-enactment of England's last World Cup match against Germany, when the Three Lions were beaten on penalties in the semi-final at Italia '90.
“It was a night of mixed emotions. It was great to see England in the semi-final of a World Cup and on the night we actually did really well. The players did a great job and we were incredibly unfortunate not to win the game in normal time. Extra time came and went – and then it came to the penalty shoot-out and after that I was in the house crying - a bit like Gazza actually!”