Gerrard ready to change with times
Published : 02 Jun 2012 06:47:06Rss feed
New England skipper Steven Gerrard admits he may have to modify his game to reduce the risk of picking up a red card during Euro 2012.
Gerrard and the rest of the England squad have been spoken to by FIFA and UEFA referees delegate David Elleray about what is permissible ahead of the tournament in Poland and Ukraine. The midfielder admits he could have been booked or dismissed for a challenge on Norwegian player Tom Hogli in last weekend's international friendly had it been a competitive match.
Gerard said: "If I think I can win a tackle fairly, I'll go in and try and win it. We had a referee's meeting with David Elleray, going through different scenarios. We have to be slightly more careful at international level compared to what we're used to in our league."
The midfielder added: "The tackle last week (on Hogli) might have been a caution or worse, but to me it's fair. It was clean, the side of my foot, no studs.
"It has changed, though. It's something you have to adapt to as a player, especially myself who is a tackler. You can't get away with it at international level.
"You can connect with the ball cleanly but, if you take the man, you get cautioned. The players were aware of the different scenarios after the meeting - cautions, bringing men down, surrounding the referee. We're all aware of it. Seven or eight points were made."
The skipper said he is "quietly confident" about England's chances of success at the tournament - despite the lengthy injury list which has disrupted their build-up.
Gerrard is careful not to overplay expectations but still believes England can emerge with credit from the first finals under new head coach Roy Hodgson.
He said: "Are expectations coming down all the time? Maybe with the supporters and people around looking at this squad with no Wilshere, Cleverley, Barry, Lampard. We're quietly confident but we don't want to raise expectations unnecessarily. We don't want to put too much pressure on ourselves. We want to try and enjoy the tournament and hopefully we can play at a better level."
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