Scott Parker reveals Steven Gerrard congratulations on captaincy

 

Scott Parker revealed Steven Gerrard was the first to congratulate him after his surprise selection as England captain for the defeat by Holland.

Liverpool skipper Gerrard was the favourite to succeed John Terry for last night's friendly at Wembley but was overlooked by caretaker manager Stuart Pearce in favour of Tottenham midfielder Parker.

And there were no hard feelings according to the latter, who said after the last-gasp 3-2 loss: "Steve was fine. He was the ultra-professional he is.

"He was the first person to come up to me and congratulate me and said he'd support me. That was pleasing.

"You wouldn't expect anything else from such a great player."

Should the Football Association appoint a permanent successor to Fabio Capello before this summer's European Championship, the new man must decide who he wants to be England captain in Poland and Ukraine.

Asked if he would like to keep the armband, Parker said: "Of course I would.

"I also understand there's a many a player - no-one more than Steven Gerrard and a couple of others - who've obviously been there before and done it.

"It's going to be difficult for me but I would obviously relish the chance to lead the country out again and take it into the Euros.

"Whether that's me or it's not me, I know I'll be fully behind whoever it may be, determined to make England succeed."

Parker said the feeling of captaining England was second only to that he experienced when his children were born.

The 31-year-old added: "It was pretty special, really, a very proud moment for me and something as a kid I dreamed of many a time.

"I could probably speak for every boy and every young lad who has the same ambition.

"I never thought it would happen to me, so absolutely delighted to lead out my country.

"It's definitely up there, not only in my career but obviously in my personal life, probably behind the birth of my kids.

"My family are very proud."

Parker's first game as skipper ultimately ended in a last-gasp 3-2 defeat after England had looked to have salvaged a 2-2 draw.

He said: "We're not sitting there thinking that with the way we performed, through maybe just sheer grit and determination and courage, that we're going to go and win a tournament.

"We understand we need to work on things, we need to get technically better.

"But we all need to be positive and we all need to realise that tonight gives us great hope.

"Coming back from 2-0 down is massive.

"It was edgy there and we proved that we can do it."

PA

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