England in high spirits
by Wally Downes
Sunday, 10 June, 2012
Steven Gerrard says the Three Lions are confident going into France game
England captain Steven Gerrard has reiterated the sense of pride and honour he feels ahead of leading the team out against France.
The Liverpool talisman, who has endured a frustrating club season punctuated with injuries, wants a successful European Championship to end the campaign on a high – starting with a win on Monday.
“It’s fantastic and I have gone on record before to say how proud I am to lead the boys out,” said Gerrard about the armband.
“The spirit is fantastic and the preparation has gone well and we are excited to get started. We have watched games and we have been excited and we are really looking forward to the game starting.
“I think the team is really happy; we travelled in this morning and we have had a couple of hours to rest this afternoon. We are looking forward to the final training session and then we will be ready for the French.
Gerrard, who has looked refreshed since his return from injury, has to watch as a number of his close friends and team-mates have had to withdraw from the competition with injuries of their own.
But the inspirational leader is refusing to let injuries be considered as a possible excuse for failure as he genuinely believes his side are championship contenders.
“All we have to do as players is share the responsibility around the group,” he said. “Of course, any squad would miss Frank Lampard, Gareth Barry and John Ruddy but you have to cope.
“But other squads in the competition are suffering similar things and you have to get on with it.
“We are really confident we can do really well in this competition.”
England's meeting with France in Donetsk at 5pm (BST) on Monday 11 June will be live on ITV1.