‘England won’t hold back from tackles’ – Gerrard

Despite an injury to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as well as Franck Ribery and Marco Reus missing out on the World Cup, the Three Lions skipper wants his side to be fully committed

England captain Steven Gerrard has called on his players not to hold back against Honduras despite the Three Lions’ World Cup opener being just a week away.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain faces missing the tournament after injuring knee medial ligaments against Ecuador while France and Germany have both been dealt blows after news that Franck Ribery and Marco Reus have both been ruled out.

But Gerrard feels that the team shouldn’t be afraid of making tackles when on the pitch as heading into the tournament on the back of a win will boost morale ahead of the clash with Italy on June 14.

“We still have a while to go [before the World Cup starts], but hopefully we will come through this game with a good performance, a win and no more injuries,” he told reporters.

“This is the time for no stupid tackles in training, but in the game there will be no holding back.

“That will be the case against Honduras as we want confidence going into the match against Italy.”

Gerrard was left out of Roy Hodgson’s side against Ecuador, but is expected to return on Saturday, though the manager has revealed that his side is unlikely to be the same one that is selected to face Cesare Prandelli’s side in Manaus.

That could mean further starts for the likes of Ross Barkley, who impressed in Wednesday’s 2-2 draw, and Gerrard believes the younger players in the squad will pose Hodgson headaches as they head to the tournament in Brazil.

“They’re loving being out with us and are growing every day. They are going to give the manager selection problems and I wouldn’t want to be in his position.

“One of my roles is to look out for the younger lads and put my arm around them when needed – it was same for me when I was a young England player.

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