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Gerrard: England not looking past Ukraine

SoccerNews in English Premier League 19 Jun 2012

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England captain Steven Gerrard insists the side are fully focused on Tuesday’s clash with Ukraine, and are not looking ahead to bigger tests.

Should England avoid defeat on Tuesday night against the co-hosts, they will safely proceed to the quarter-finals of the competition where they will face either Spain or Italy.

And the Liverpool man has emphasised the need to turn all concentration to the game in Donetsk.

“I am trying to force myself not to even talk about quarter-finals at this stage,” Gerrard told reporters.

“It would be very disrespectful to the opposition, who are very dangerous judging by the tapes we have watched of them.

“Their combination play in the middle and around the box is good. If I started talking about quarter-finals and we slipped up I would never forgive myself. Let’s deal with the quarter-final, and what to expect, if we get there.”

The midfielder said the atmosphere in the England squad is far superior to that of their disastrous 2010 World Cup campaign.

England stumbled through the group stages in South Africa, and were well beaten by a youthful German side in the second round, but Gerrard said the mood in the camp is far more positive this time round.

“The reason we feel like this is because of how we are playing. We are playing well and we are playing positively. We are enjoying how we are playing,” the 32-year-old said.

“Everyone knows that in South Africa the team weren’t playing at a good level so it becomes difficult and hard work. But we can’t wait for this game because when you are playing well it breeds confidence and belief.

“We have got Wayne Rooney back as well and everything is positive.”

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