Steven Gerrard says England can 'surprise a few' in Brazil

Saturday 24 May 2014
Steven Gerrard in action during England's training camp in Portugal

Steven Gerrard says he is in a "good frame of mind and excited" ahead of the World Cup and can't wait to get started against Italy on 14 June. 

The England skipper also shrugged off suggestions that he is still affected by Liverpool's end to the season, which saw them finish second in the Premier League to Manchester City. 

A slip from Gerrard in their defeat to Chelsea earlier this month had a sway on which way the title ended up, but the 33-year-old insists his focus is firmly on Brazil. 

Steven Gerrard training

Steven Gerrard during training in Portugal


After meeting up with the squad on Monday for their training camp in Portugal, England will continue their preparations at St. George's Park in the lead up to next Friday's meeting with Peru at Wembley. 

The Three Lions then head to Miami for two final warm-up fixtures as they target their opener with the Azzurri in three weeks' time. 

"This is the important part, the preparation making sure you get into peak condition and try to find your form ready for that very important game against Italy," Gerrard said when he spoke to the press in Portugal. 

"I can't just focus on one mistake I made over 38 games. I'm in a good frame of mind, I'm excited and can't wait to get started. 

"We have to go there and give it our best shot, work hard - it's going to be tough and that's the message to everyone in the squad. 

"But we have the talent and ability in the squad, if we get that bit of luck we can surprise a few. The first aim is to get off to a good start against Italy." 

He continued: "What's important is we try to put on a good show in the three friendly matches and try to gain some early belief and confidence. Hopefully that has a snowball effect going into the tournament. 

"There is no bigger game for us to start against Italy, we go in as underdogs, of course, the Italians are a very experienced squad and have proved they are capable of going to the end. 

Steven Gerrard and James Milner

Gerrard and Milner put it in during training


"We certainly don't fear them, we respect them, but we feel we can go there create a shock in the first game which would be so big for this country." 

Gerrard also believes the make-up of the England squad provides them with a good blend of experience and youth. 

One player particularly familiar to the captain is his Liverpool team-mate Raheem Sterling. The 19-year-old has been impressive for the Reds this campaign and Gerrard feels he rightly deserves his seat on the plane. 

"I've very pleased for Raheem," he beamed. "It's always important being an experienced player that we have good, young attacking talent in the squad who have no fear and are capable of surprising a few out in Brazil. 

"The stage is set for Raheem to go there, enjoy it and do the best he can." Gerrard added: "The manager has picked a great mix of players who have been round the block and some younger ones who have had terrific seasons. 

"They are here on merit, he hasn't picked them because he wants young players in the squad, he's picked them because they are good enough and have shown terrific form through the Premier League campaign."

England meet Peru at Wembley on Friday 30 May - their final game on home soil before the World Cup. The last few tickets remain, so to make sure you don't miss out, click here to buy your tickets online.

By Jamie Bradbury FA Editor