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Gerrard would never reject England

22 March 2013 09:43

England captain Steven Gerrard insists he will never reject an international call-up as it is 'the pinnacle' of a footballer's career.

Rio Ferdinand recently earned a recalled to the Three Lion after nearly two years of being overlooked by Roy Hodgson, only to pull out of the squad after fears his specific training and medical requirements could not be fulfilled while on international duty.

But Gerrard, who has played every single minute of Liverpool's Premier League campaign thus far, says he is keen to represent his country as much as possible.

"Playing for England is the pinnacle of everyone's career," Gerrard said ahead of their World Cup qualifier against San Marino on Friday.

"If I'm not playing I'll be very disappointed, which shows what it means to me.

"First of all, I don't know if Rio has turned his back on it. I don't know the details from his side. But that's what I want to achieve - help take this team to a World Cup in Brazil.

"At my age, there's no better stage for a footballer to play on. Especially after beating Brazil. On our day, with a full-strength squad, we're capable of beating the best."

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson had previously expressed his concerns over Ferdinand's long-term back injury and increased recuperation period due to his age.

Gerrard, however, says his own regime is suited to international football and has no concerns over risking his fitness.

"I'm not tired, I'm fine. My body's good, I'm good," he said.

"I have my own personal program I stick to, but that's the same as any other player - two days of recovery after a game, taking it easy, so I'm fine."

Meanwhile, Gerrard said his side would take nothing for granted against San Marino.

The minnows are yet to win a competitive game in their 27-year playing history, and are not expected to provide Hodgson's side with many problems as the Three Lions seek three points to keep them in contention with Montenegro for top spot in Group H.

"We don't look at the game as an easy game, all the pressure is on England and we respect the opposition in San Marino," he said.

"We know they are going to make it difficult for us and try and defend really well, so it is important for us to try and play close to our top level and try to score early.

"It may become easy but we can speak about that afterwards. Before the game we show the opposition respect and we prepare really hard for this game."

The game in Serrevalle has generally been perceived as an easy win for England as they prepare to make a daunting trip to Montenegro on Tuesday, but the Liverpool midfielder is adamant the rest of the squad are taking it one match at a time.

"In an ideal situation we win the game comfortably and put on a show for everyone watching back home, and the 3,000 fans who have come out here to watch us, but the three points are the most important thing," he said.

"We get the same out of this game as hopefully we're going to get on Tuesday night, so they are both big games.

"On Wednesday morning hopefully we'll be in the driving seat in this group, and we'll have taken control. If we take six points we can go away and enjoy the summer, as far as England games are concerned, and then we come back next season ready to go on and win the group.

"We've had a fantastic week's training, everyone's fit and available, and everyone is happy. We're all looking forward to Friday's game and we're certainly not lacking confidence on the back of the Brazil result so things are good."

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Info

0 - 8

Competition
WC Qualification Europe
Date
22 March 2013
Kick-off
21:00
Half-time
0 - 5
Full-time
0 - 8

Goals

0 - 1
0 - 2
0 - 3
0 - 4
39' A. Young
 (assist by L. Baines)
0 - 5
42' F. Lampard
 (assist by L. Baines)
0 - 6
0 - 7
70' D. Sturridge
 (assist by A. Young)
0 - 8
78' J. Defoe
 (assist by K. Walker)

Lineups

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Tuesday 29 July

Monday 28 July

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Sunday 27 July

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00:10

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