Steven Gerrard World Cup 2014: Captain admits England were naive in how they conceded Luis Suarez's second in 2-1 defeat
Captain also hinted his own international career will end after the tournament
Steven Gerrard said tonight that England were naïve in pushing for a winning goal against Uruguay and in doing so losing the game, leaving them potentially heading out of the World Cup finals at the group stage.
The England captain also hinted that his own international career will come to a close at the end of the team’s participation in the tournament. In order to reach the second round they must hope that Italy win their final two games against Costa Rica and Uruguay. Then England would have to beat Costa Rica by the requisite scoreline in their final group game on Tuesday in Belo Horizonte to progress on goal difference.
The 2-1 defeat in Sao Paulo could even be Gerrard’s last game for England in a 113-cap career. Should England be eliminated by the result tomorrow night then Gerrard said it would be Hodgson’s plan to play the squad members who have not featured thus far.
Gerrard said: “I’m frustrated because looking at the two games and how we have performed we deserve something out of either one of them, if not both of them. I don’t think I am standing here saying we were poor in both games and our game-plan was wrong. I just thought when we got the equaliser today we just needed to be a bit more clever, a bit more cute and a bit more difficult to beat.
“We maybe should have accepted that going for a point might have been the best option. But they were weak at the back and they were there for the taking. Once we got the equaliser we tried to use the initiative to get the second.
“It is a big learning curve. We will analyse the game. It is simple really. At this level it is such a cruel level. You can’t give world-class players chances – that’s one thing – and when you are still in the game you need to be more difficult to beat. That was the disappointing thing for me. At 1-1 as a team we sort of went for the second goal and maybe we should have been more experienced and gone for the draw.
“They were sloppy goals [to concede] and we have to take responsibility for that as a team. The first one he's peeled off onto the back post, it's a fantastic ball by [Edinson] Cavani. We'll have to look at that and see what's what. The second one, I've gone to try and get good contact on the ball. I haven't good enough contact on it and I've been punished for it.
Read more: Even Rooney can't save England who suffer a gulf in class
Dejection for Gerrard as Suarez outshines his team-mate
Asked about England’s future in the tournament, Gerrard said: “Who knows, at the moment? Italy are a fantastic team and capable of winning both games but we're clutching at straws. The position we're in is the position we didn't want to be in coming into the tournament, relying on other people's results. It's very difficult at the moment.
On his own international future, Gerrard, 34, said: “It's not the moment now. But as I said before the tournament that I'll be respectful to you guys. So let's see what happens over the next four or five days and we'll talk again.”
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