Hodgson hails Gerrard influence on England

The 66-year-old has only admiration for the Liverpool captain after he led the Three Lions to the World Cup finals and believes his abilities will carry over into Brazil

Roy Hodgson has heaped praise on Steven Gerrard following England’s qualification for the World Cup finals.

The Three Lions secured their place at next summer’s showpiece event in Brazil with a 2-0 victory over Poland at Wembley on Tuesday evening, with Gerrard scoring the decisive second goal.

And afterwards Hodgson was effusive in his praise of the man he selected as England captain.

“I can’t speak highly enough of him,” Hodgson told the FA’s official website.

“He’s got a fantastic quality, Steven. Where I talk a lot and don’t often say things that are particularly memorable, every time he opens his mouth he says something that I wish I’d have said.”

“His other great quality is that he leads by example. When I called him up when I got the job and I said ‘I’d like you to be the captain’, he said he’d like to be captain, ‘I’ll take it very seriously and do my best whenever I can’. It’s exactly what he’s delivered over the last 18 months.

“Everyone looks up to Steven as he’s such a good player. He doesn’t have to scream and shout, all he has to do is do what he does.

“He’s very, very supportive of all the players, he encourages them and urges them on. He’s not a screamer or shouter but he does talk to the players.

“He, perhaps more than anybody, should be really proud of this World Cup qualifying campaign.

“He’s going to be desperate to make sure that when he leaves Brazil, he’ll have memories of not only a good qualifying campaign, but memories of a good World Cup campaign.”

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