Gerrard: We must stay focused
Published : 07 Sep 2010 07:30:28
England skipper Steven Gerrard believes players must leave personal issues on the sidelines when they go into battle for their country.
And he is looking for another top performance from Wayne Rooney in Tuesday night's Euro 2012 qualifier with Switzerland after allegations about events in the Manchester United striker's private life emerged in a Sunday newspaper.
Gerrard said: "You have to get on with things. You're in a situation, if you have an issue off the pitch, there you have to park it. Sometimes football can be a release from it. Once the game has started you're focused on what happens on the pitch, not what's going on off it."
Gerrard had to suffer a similar spell in the spotlight last season before being cleared of a charge of affray in court.
But the Liverpool star feels he produced some of his best football during that period and hopes Rooney can repeat the form he showed against Bulgaria on Friday in the Basle encounter.
He added: "I played some of my best football when I was going through the court case. I'm sure, once the game starts, Wayne will focus on the game.
"That's certainly what happened to me. I felt that way during my 'episode'."
Gerrard is a close friend of Rooney but has not spoken to the Manchester United star about his private life.
He said: "At the end of the day, who am I to talk about things like that with Wayne Rooney? He's his own man.
"It's his private life. If the shoe was on the other foot, I wouldn't expect Wayne to divulge into my private life. I respect that. Every player is his own man. We've all got private lives. We need to respect that."