England will not underestimate San Marino, insists Gerrard

All the talk in the build-up to the clash in Serrevalle has been of an easy win for the Three Lions, but the captain insists the squad will show their opponents respect

England captain Steven Gerrard insists the squad will take nothing for granted when they face San Marino in Friday’s World Cup qualifier.

The minnows are yet to win a competitive game in their 27-year playing history, and are not expected to provide Roy Hodgson’s side with many problems as the Three Lions seek three points to keep them in contention with Montenegro for top spot in Group H.

However, Gerrard disagrees with that attitude, insisting to reporters: “We don’t look at the game as an easy game, all the pressure is on England and we respect the opposition in San Marino.”

“We know they are going to make it difficult for us and try and defend really well, so it is important for us to try and play close to our top level and try to score early.

“It may become easy but we can speak about that afterwards. Before the game we show the opposition respect and we prepare really hard for this game.”

The game in Serrevalle has generally been perceived as an easy win for England as they prepare to make a daunting trip to Montenegro on Tuesday, but the Liverpool midfielder is adamant the rest of the squad are taking it one match at a time.

“In an ideal situation we win the game comfortably and put on a show for everyone watching back home, and the 3,000 fans who have come out here to watch us, but the three points are the most important thing,” he continued.

“We get the same out of this game as hopefully we’re going to get on Tuesday night, so they are both big games.

“On Wednesday morning hopefully we’ll be in the driving seat in this group, and we’ll have taken control. If we take six points we can go away and enjoy the summer, as far as England games are concerned, and then we come back next season ready to go on and win the group.

“We’ve had a fantastic week’s training, everyone’s fit and available, and everyone is happy. We’re all looking forward to Friday’s game and we’re certainly not lacking confidence on the back of the Brazil result so things are good.”

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