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

22:39 10 September 2013


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
2 3 4 5 6

Latest football news

Saturday, November 28, 2015
Crystal Palace's Yannick Bolasie (left) celebrates scoring his side's second goal (John Walton/PA Wire)

Crystal Palace eased to a comfortable 5-1 win over Newcastle at Selhurst Park. Here’s how we rated the Eagles.

Saturday, November 28, 2015
Arsene Wenger  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

The Premier League is set to offer us more thrills and spills this weekend and here is how the table could look come Sunday night.

Saturday, November 28, 2015
Jose Mourinho Manager of Chelsea  (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

It has been a busy week in the capital and Saturday is no different, here’s our round-up.

Saturday, November 28, 2015
Michail Antonio of West Ham United controls the ball under pressure from Sergio Aguero of Manchester City (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic admits it has been tough to give winger Michail Antonio his first-team chance but it is not far away.

Saturday, November 28, 2015
Fulham caretaker boss Peter Grant (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)

Peter Grant says Sakari Mattila, Richard Steadman, Tom Cairney and the returning Scott Parker all barely trained ahead of the 1-1 draw with Preston.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...


MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!

Read more

You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Read more

Latest Tech News