England can still finish top of the group, insists Gerrard

The Three Lions captain was disappointed to surrender the advantage against Montenegro but is adamant that his side can reel their opponents in and qualify as winners

Steven Gerrard feels that England still have the ability to secure automatic qualification for World Cup 2014 despite suffering a setback against Montenegro.

The Three Lions captain was left downcast by their underwhelming display, from which Roy Hodgson’s men had to settle for a point after they surrended a one-goal lead late in the second half.

It was a disappointing evening for England but the Liverpool midfielder was eager to stress his faith in his team-mates and is determined to reach the finals as group winners.

He told the FA’s official website: “We’re still confident we can finish top of the group. We need to win all our games and we certainly need to improve on the second half performance and play like we did in the first half.

“We need to go and get three points when we go to Ukraine and we need a perfect result at home.”

The 32-year-old was impressed with England’s first-half efforts but pointed to a failure to secure the second goal as the primary reason behind their lacklustre showing in the second half.

“We stopped playing after the break for 20 or 30 minutes and away from home you can’t do that,” he opined. “We stopped passing the ball and that’s when we lost control. I think they deserved the equaliser.

“There was a lot of experience out there and we showed that in the first half – we controlled the game – but the problem is, at 1-0, you’re always vulnerable – you’ve got to go on and get that second goal to be in complete control and we didn’t do that.”

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