Gerrard hails England spirit

15 June 2012 06:17

Steven Gerrard insists what England's players lack in quality they make up for in heart and desire.

Ahead of Friday's Euro 2012 encounter with Sweden in Kiev, manager Roy Hodgson positively bristled when it was suggested his squad are technically inferior to some of their rivals in Poland and Ukraine.

Gerrard has a more realistic outlook and believes the Three Lions have other attributes that need to be taken into account, saying: "These people who have that opinion are watching Spain and Barcelona. Of course we are not as technically gifted as those teams or that type of player. They are the best in the world. What we haven't got in technique, maybe we gain on them in heart, desire and commitment."

Chelsea's backs-to-the-wall performances in both the Champions League semi-final and final this season was put to Gerrard as the obvious example of what he meant, to which the skipper quickly added: "So did we in 2005. Exactly the same."

The assessment is largely based upon France's dominance in possession in Donetsk on Monday and the glaring statistic Les Bleus completed twice as many passes.

Hodgson does not feel those figures tell a true picture, while Gerrard underlined a more circumspect approach that needs to be adopted in such situations.

"You have to understand, you can't approach some of these teams and go out all attacking and gung-ho," he said.

"If you are not organised, tight defensively and maybe sacrifice something going forward you go home early."

Source: PA