Steven Gerrard future: England captain insists there is 'no truth' to retirement talk

Liverpool midfielder will not consider international future until after World Cup 2014

England captain Steven Gerrard insists he needs time before making a decision over his international future.

The Liverpool midfielder, 34, will mull over whether to announce his international retirement after Roy Hodgson's side crashed out of the World Cup at the group stage.

He said: "There's no truth that I'll be making any announcement within a week. I think I need more time.

"I am still hurting very bad, I'm broken from what's gone on over the last couple of weeks. I need to clear my head before I make that big decision."

Asked if he had a hunch what his decision would be, Gerrard said: "Not at the moment, I need time.

"I've agreed with the manager I'm going to speak to him in a few weeks' time."

Hodgson has received the backing from Football Association chairman Greg Dyke.

The manager said: "I am very pleased of course that Greg and the board have come out and backed me to continue.

"We are midway through a term, there's lot of work to be done, but I think we are on a good path. I am very pleased I am going to be the man leading (the team)."

He added: "It means a lot because the job means a lot to me. It's a fantastic job, it's a privilege to have it.

"I am very pleased to have had that backing. Scapegoats are always necessary in times of failure, one understands that. But one would like to think the work that you do is judged over a long period of time."

Hodgson said it would be "absolutely the wrong time" to talk about his future after 2016.

"I am recovering from a very bitter experience, a very raw experience," he said.

England still have one game to go, against Costa Rica, who are already through, on Tuesday, and Hodgson said he would make sure those players in the squad yet to feature would get some game time.

"I shall be changing the team," he said.

Gerrard said England needed to "toughen up as a group", but claimed they did have talent at their disposal.

"I think we have got world class players here, I agree with the manager when he says there are potential world class players here as well," the Liverpool man said.

Hodgson hopes the younger players will not be scarred by the last few days.

"It's obviously difficult to give any guarantee that that's not the case but I would like to think not, I would like to think the opposite. The experiences we've had here have been incredibly valuable," he said.

"They can take a lot from it, learn a lot from it and grow as a result of it."

The former Fulham and West Brom boss does not want too much negative attention to be paid on two tight defeats, but admits they will shoulder the responsibility.

"I've been working for two years on a fairly regular basis over 30-odd games it's very hard to suddenly give an answer that everything is right, everything is wrong on the basis of two games," he said.

"I'm afraid when you're in football a long time you just have to accept that these things do happen to you.

"I think it would be better to read into the way these players have behaved, the way they've conducted themselves in these last five or six weeks, the way they've prepared for the matches, and to be, if anything, optimistic with the level of progression that I think we have because we're such a young side and there are so many players that have only just burst onto the scene.

"These games were very important, we were desperate to do well in them, we didn't, we lost and we bear the responsibility. No one's trying to shy away from that, no one's trying to put the blame on anybody else."

PA

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