Fear of failure can inspire England says Gerrard

Skipper Steven Gerrard has admitted the England players will be driven on by the fear of failure in tonight's make or break World Cup encounter with Slovenia.

But the midfielder knows it is vital that Fabio Capello's side do not buckle under the massive pressure in Port Elizabeth.

Gerrard accepts England "stopped doing the things we're good at" during the woeful goalless draw with Algeria in Cape Town on Friday.

Now they need a win against the current group leaders to guarantee a place in the last 16.

Gerrard said: "The fear of not winning drives you on. The last thing you want is to go home in the group stages.

"We've come here to stay in this tournament to the end. It would be an absolute disaster for this group of players to go home after the group stages.

"We want more. We want a performance tomorrow. The key is to try and live without fear. There is pressure and fear.

"You're playing for England and you have massive support. It doesn't help to go on to the pitch and play with that fear.

"You have to go on to the pitch and try and relax, be patient. The performance will come."

Gerrard acknowledges England will be hot favourites despite their stuttering form but feels the World Cup has proved nothing can be taken for granted.

He said: "On paper, we're massive favourites. They're a small nation compared to us.

"But every game in this World Cup, as has been proven, is difficult.

"They only need a draw, and the pressure is on us because we need to win the game. But we need to live with that, play with that on our shoulders and get on with it."

Gerrard is clear in his own mind what England have to put right if they are to overcome Slovenia.

He said: "We've stopped doing the things we're good at. We watched the game with Algeria in the team meeting, without anyone talking, and it was clear to see we weren't aggressive enough.

"We didn't play to our strengths. We didn't press high enough. We didn't win the ball back when we lost possession.

"We didn't run enough, press the ball enough. I don't think we made any big mistakes in the game.

"We kept a clean sheet and didn't lose the game. We did okay up until the final third, but then we didn't have the cutting edge to break that team down. We need to get that in this game."