England 1 Italy 2: Steven Gerrard 'proud' of performance despite defeat in Manaus

England skipper looking at the positives after the loss to Italty

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The Independent Online

England captain Steven Gerrard has insisted his team "can't be down" after their performance despite losing 2-1 to Italy.

The Three Lions performed admirably but were undone by a long-range Claudio Marchisio strike and Mario Balotelli's second-half header. Daniel Sturridge converted an excellent Wayne Rooney cross after Raheem Sterling's cutting through-ball, but England were unable to find an equaliser despite some encouraging attacking play.

"It’s always disappointing to lose a game but I’m certainly not disappointed in my team-mates with the effort, desire and commitment in the performance we gave," said Gerrard.

"We can’t be down after a performance like that."

England look a different side from the one who was dumped out against Italy on penalties in the quarter-final of Euro 2012, playing with a verve and intent that was missing in Poland/Ukraine.

Gerrard said the team had "moved on" from that tournament.

"We’ve certainly moved on from two years ago," he said. "I’m really proud of how we played."

After Uruguay suffered a shock defeat to Costa Rica, two wins for Roy Hodgson's men should be enough to see them qualify, despite the defeat.

"It’s always disappointing to lose a game but I’m certainly not disappointed in my team-mates with the effort, desire and commitment in the performance we gave," added Gerrard.

"We can’t be down after a performance like that."

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