Gerrard: We must overcome injuries

10 June 2012 04:47

Captain Steven Gerrard has challenged England to overcome the loss of several key players when they launch their Euro 2012 campaign against France in Donetsk.

Head coach Roy Hodgson is relieved to have a clean bill of health amongst the players left at his disposal with James Milner (heel) and Martin Kelly (illness) available. But the likes of Frank Lampard, Gareth Barry and Gary Cahill will be missing from the tournament through injury while Wayne Rooney is suspended for the opening two games.

"People say there is less pressure because of the injuries but what we've got to do as players is share the responsibility around the group," Gerrard said.

"Any squad would miss the likes of Frank Lampard, Gareth Barry, Gary Cahill but you have to cope. Other squads are suffering similar things. You have to cope and get on with it and we're really confident we can do well in this competition."

England face the French and Sweden before Rooney is available for the final group game against Ukraine in Donetsk after his red card against Montenegro in a qualifier.

Gerrard said: "I'm sure Wayne is frustrated. I know he regrets what he's done, but he's coping well. He's itching to get out there and play himself.

"Any team would miss Wayne Rooney. He's been one fo the best players in the Premier League this season.

"We hope he can be the difference for us in that third game to get us into the latter stages of this competition."

Gerrard skippered England at the 2010 World Cup in the absence of the injured Rio Ferdinand but will be leading his country on an official basis at a tournament for the first time.

He said: "It's fantastic. I've said how proud I am to lead the boys out. The spirit in the camp is fantastic. The preparation has gone really well. We're itching to get started. The squad is really happy."

Source: PA