England weren’t clever enough – Gerrard

The Three Lions skipper says the refusal to play for a draw cost his side dearly as they went down to defeat against Uruguay

By Kris Voakes at Arena Corinthians

Steven Gerrard has blamed a lack of game management for the defeat against Uruguay which leaves England on the verge of elimination from the World Cup.

The 2-1 reverse to a side inspired by two goals from Luis Suarez means England must rely on two more victories for Italy if they are to qualify from Group D.

And the skipper admits his side lacked the experience to play more cautiously having equalised late in the game through Wayne Rooney.

“We never managed the game well enough when we got the equaliser. We can’t give chances to Luis Suarez because he buries them from that position,” Gerrard told reporters after the game.

“I just thought we needed to be a bit more clever, a bit more cute and a bit more difficult to beat. Maybe accept that going for a point might have been the best option.

“At 1-1 as a team we sort of went for the second goal and maybe we should have been more experienced and gone for the draw.”

The Liverpool captain insists that his side haven’t played too badly despite back-to-back defeats, but admits they are now facing elimination barring a miracle.

“I’m sort of frustrated because looking at the two games and how we have performed, we sort of deserve something out of either one of them if not both of them,” claimed the 34-year-old.

“I don’t think I am standing here saying we were poor in both games and our gameplan was wrong.

“At this level it is such a cruel level. You can’t give world class players chances – that’s one thing – and when you are still in the game you need to be more difficult to beat and that was the disappointing thing for me.

“Italy are a fantastic team and capable of winning both games but we’re clutching at straws. The position we’re in is the position we didn’t want to be in coming into the tournament, relying on other people’s results. It’s very difficult at the moment.”

England still have Costa Rica to play in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday but they know that anything other than an Italy win against the Central American side in Recife on Friday will mean they are already eliminated from the competition.

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