'Same again' says Gerrard
Thursday, 14 June, 2012
Three Lions skipper is confident England can achieve victory over Sweden in Kiev.
England captain Steven Gerrard is confident England can achieve victory over Sweden, their first ever in competitive action, if they perform as they did againstFrance in their opening Euro 2012 game on Monday.
Although the Three Lions ended a 43-year hoodoo against the Swedes, beating them 1-0 in a friendly at Wembley in November, they have never enjoyed victory over their Group D rivals when points are at stake.
But the Liverpool midfielder reckons Sweden will not offer as much threat as France and says if England can be more ambitious and learn from their opener in Donetsk they can get the vital win.
"I would think the same level of performance against France will be good enough to beat Sweden," he said when he spoke to the press in Kiev, prior to Thursday night's training session at the Olympic Stadium.
"I would say so with all due respect to Sweden who are a good, strong team, but they are not France. I think we can be a little bit more bold and a little bit more ambitious and get at the Swedes a little bit more.
"We are confident if we reach the same level of performance, it will be enough for a victory."
He continued: "Although we are confident, that's not to say we won't be trying to learn from the mistakes we made in the first game. We've analysed what we did right and wrong against France and we will be trying to improve on our performance as well.
"I'm really happy with the start we've made to the tournament. It was really solid and we've left ourselves a good platform to build on. "The boys are confident we will be on four points after this next game and that will be a good start to this group."
While Gerrard and his team maates believe in their own ability, they are also weary of the threat posed by Sweden, in particular their big star Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
He said: "Ibrahimovic is a world-class talent and he is very dangerous so we need the same level of commitment defensively to try and stop him.
"If you give him time and space, he can hurt any team and we are well aware of him. We've watched videos of him and we are going to watch some more so we are going to be well prepared for Ibrahimovic.
"But he is not the only good player Sweden have. We have to worry about them as a whole team. They get dangerous crosses into the box, they are a big side. There is a lot more threat from Sweden than Ibrahimovic but he is a world-class talent."
Gerrard Added: "People say 'why can't we beat Sweden?' and that is credit to Sweden. They never give up, they fight to the end. Hopefully it will be different tomorrow because we are very confident we can beat them."