Roy says 'superb' Steven Gerrard an inspiration to all

Thursday 01 May 2014
Roy Hodgson said his captain has been an 'inspiration'
Roy Hodgson has praised the example set by Steven Gerrard and backed his captain to get over the defeat against Chelsea in plenty of time to lead England into the World Cup.

Speaking at a lunch event with some of the country’s leading journalists, the England manager also took the opportunity to praise another experienced member of the squad – Frank Lampard – as well as his “young senior” Wayne Rooney, saying the trio have helped generate a positive atmosphere and steely mentality within the camp.

“I think I’ve been very lucky that Gerrard has turned out to be such a superb captain," he said. "He really has been a very good catalyst for the other players that they also look up to as a person and he has very much the right attitude.

“When he’s not been available Frank Lampard has stepped in and has done a very similar job. So my two senior players – and after that you’d probably count Wayne Rooney as a young senior – they’ve been very good in dictating and demanding that this is the mood and type of camp that we want.”

Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard train in Brazil

Hodgson singled out Lampard and Gerrard in particular for high praise

Gerrard has had a tough week at club level, after his mis-control and slip allowed Chelsea’s Demba Ba in to deal a blow to the Reds’ charge to their first league title in 24 years. 

Jose Mourinho’s men ran out eventual 2-0 winners at Anfield - a result that took Liverpool’s title destiny out of their own hands.

The Premier League title is the only medal at club level the 33-year-old has left to add to his collection and Hodgson acknowledged that although Gerrard will obviously be disappointed about Sunday’s events at Anfield, he is certain his captain has the strength of character to recover.

“I think he’s very strong mentally. He’s a bit down because it was a very big game and it was a very heavy defeat when they were being built up to such an extent,” he said. “It was unfortunate that his mistake cost them the match in a sense. 

“I read a very good article by Matthew Syed about the random chance in sport. We analyse to such an extent that we want it to be because ‘he did this’ or ‘they didn’t do that’, but often games turn on such a simple thing.

“It was an unusual error for Steven to let the ball run past him in the first place, but had he not slipped he would have won it back and won the tackle.”

Hodgson names his 30-man squad for the World Cup on 12 May. It will be the second time the England manager has led the Three Lions to a major tournament – after reaching the quarter-finals of Euro 2012, having taken over just a month before the tournament got under way.

Wayne Rooney has been prolific for club and country this term

Hodgson also praised his 'young senior' Wayne Rooney

This time round he says he has the benefit of having a full qualification campaign with the group - and a good atmosphere and camaraderie within the group.

“One thing is for certain there is no chance for any team in the World Cup if they’re not together,” he added. 

“We’ve seen that in the past where teams have not been all together - the one thing for certain is that if you want to win any tournament you’d better be certain that you as a team are all together. 

"That you’re all singing off the same hymn sheet. That you’ve all got the same aspirations and that you’re all prepared to make sacrifices for each other. It’s not rocket science, it’s truisms. 

"Unfortunately it’s as much of a truism that games hinge on a certain moments such as the ball hitting the post and going in or going out – we all know that. 

"But you do have a chance at least. You don’t have a chance to control the hazardous moment such as Steven Gerrard letting the ball run under his foot and slipping - that’s something you can’t control. 

"It won’t happen very often and you can’t control it when it does. The thing you can control is your teamwork. Making certain you choose a group of players that are prepared to work as a team."

England take on Peru at Wembley Stadium on 30 May in what will be their final game on home soil before travelling to Miami and then on to Brazil.

Tickets for the fixture against Peru are on sale now. Click here to get yours.

By Jamie Reid Senior Writer