Gerrard challenges England

10 June 2006 11:47
Steven Gerrard has challenged his team-mates to prove that England are the best side in the world in Germany this summer. England are widely thought to have their strongest squad since 1970 and Gerrard knows the players are under pressure to perform. "We need to prove we can go a long way in the tournament," said the Liverpool midfielder. "All the players have been talking the talk and saying we are going to go a long way and have got a great team. "Now we have got to go and prove that and put these words into actions and show the nation and everyone who is watching that we are a good team. "I think what we have been guilty of in the past is showing teams a little bit too much respect and being a little bit negative. We have got to play to our strengths." Gerrard also warned his colleagues England cannot afford to ease into the World Cup and that they must be at their best to win their opening Group B game against Paraguay on Saturday. He added: "We are England. We have got to be aggressive, go after teams and kill them off, because one goal might not be enough. "We've got to go in with a 'no fear' attitude. We'll respect but not fear. "We know we can beat anyone on our day so why should we fear any team? "If we were to be knocked out by being negative or worrying about other teams that would be a regret. "We can't end this World Cup with regrets."

Source: ESA