England draw in Ukraine ‘solid’ but not ‘top-class’ admits Liverpool ace

22:39 10 September 2013

England

England's Steven Gerrard acknowledges the crowd after the final whistle. Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

PA Wire

Captain Steven Gerrard felt it was a case of mission accomplished as England kept World Cup qualification in their own hands with a goalless draw in Ukraine.

The point left Roy Hodgson’s men a point clear of both Ukraine and Montenegro at the top of Group H with home games against the Montenegrins and Poland still to come.

“I don’t think it was a top-class performance,” Gerrard told ITV. “Defensively we were solid and the result never looked in doubt.

“Before the game the challenge from the manager was let’s keep it in our hands, let’s make the two final games at Wembley - if we win them then we’re through.”

He added: “We’d like to create more. But sometimes if you’re too risky at places like this you can get undone at the back.

“It’s important to be defensively right first and foremost.”

England have yet to beat any of their direct competitors, their four wins in the group having come against San Marino and Moldova.

But Gerrard said: “We’ve got a better chance of doing that at Wembley. Going away from home to places like this is very difficult. They’re a good side.

“We always knew Ukraine were going to push us all the way. That seems to be the case. It looks like we’re going to have to do it the hard way.”

Gerrard feels England can be happier than Ukraine with the result.

“I think they’ll be disappointed because they know we’re capable of winning our two home games,” he said.

“Hopefully we’ll get a few people back fit which will give us a bit more cutting edge going forward. We’re capable of getting this job done.”

Manager Roy Hodgson conceded it was a fair result and that his side had hardly set pulses racing.

“I don’t think we were that adventurous,” he said. “But it was for them to be adventurous, not us.

“Perhaps we didn’t have quite the quality we needed [up front].

“[But] had we thrown caution to the wind and come away with a 0-1, I don’t think we’d have got any thanks for that.”

Related articles

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest football news

Thursday, May 5, 2016
Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez (left) and West Ham United's Dimitri Payet battle for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match at Upton Park, London.

When does the 2016/17 Premier League kick off? When do the fixtures come out? We’ve put together a guide to all the key dates for Premier League and Football League fans.

Thursday, May 5, 2016
West Ham United's Frank McAvennie scoring for West Ham against Oxford United at Upton Park

Lee Power remembers his fond childhood visits to Upton Park

Thursday, May 5, 2016
Lee Chung-yong of Crystal Palace makes a challenge on Wayne Rooney.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Lee Chung-Yong told Alan Pardew his controversial comments were lost in translation but the South Korean winger will be fined.

Thursday, May 5, 2016
A West Ham United supporter makes their way into the Boleyn Ground (pic: Empics)

Our West Ham Correspondent reflects on his time at Upton Park as it comes to a close

Thursday, May 5, 2016
West Ham legend Tony Cottee

Our West Ham columnist hopes Tuesday night’s game will be a vital one as well as an emotional one

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Read more
Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Read more

Latest Tech News

Transport