Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has urged England boss Fabio Capello not to pick him for the Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro.
Gerrard has played just 25 minutes of football since returning for the Merseyside outfit after six months out of the game and believes other players should be selected ahead of him for the crunch fixture.
“I think everyone knows I’m still not 100 per cent match fit,” he told reporters.
“I have only probably had two 12-minute games. I’m not really sure how much I’m going to play against Everton so, in my opinion, it’s probably still a bit too early.”
“I don’t make the decisions. Those decisions are down to the England manager, whether he picks me or not.”
“I’m sure he’ll have a discussion with Kenny (Dalglish) and between them they can decide what the right thing is for me.”
“In my opinion there are other players out there who are match fit who are probably more suitable for that game, but we’ll have to wait and see. If I’m called up, I’ll deal with it.”
The 31-year-old will most likely start on the bench once more in Saturday’s derby clash with Everton, but understands that he should not be rushed back into action too soon.
“With experience I have come to learn about my own body and I haven’t been out for two or three weeks with a hamstring or a calf injury,” Gerrard said.
“I’ve had a reconstruction of my groin and it is going to take time.”
“To be fair to Kenny and the medical staff, they have handled me perfectly so far and I’m sure they’ll do the same in the coming weeks.”
“It’s important that I don’t force it, they don’t force it and we don’t push it too hard, but I am at the stage now where the only way I’m going to get my match sharpness, match fitness and get back to the form I want to play at is if I get game time.”
“But I also understand it’s got to be at the right time as well.”
Liverpool have had somewhat of an inconsistent string of results since the start of the campaign and currently find themselves in fifth place, and Gerrard believes his side need to take care during the derby match to not get caught up in the intense atmosphere.
“We need to play without fear. Sometimes in derby games you can get involved in the fight and forget to play. It becomes a battle and a tussle rather than us settling and playing our own game,” he said.
“We like to pass and move, attack quick and stay compact when we haven’t got the ball, so if we can settle really quickly into the game I’m really confident we can get the right result.”