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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 June, 2004, 06:26 GMT 07:26 UK
Gerrard keeps his focus

By Phil McNulty
BBC Sport in Lisbon

Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney

Steven Gerrard insists he and Wayne Rooney will ignore growing transfer speculation to focus on England's Euro 2004 quarter-final against Portugal.

Liverpool captain Gerrard is linked with a 30m-plus move to Chelsea while Everton star Rooney's displays have earned him a record 50m price tag.

Gerrard said: "I know there is a lot of speculation about club football regarding a lot players in the squad

"But we are all focused. I'm just concentrating on this Portugal match."

He added: "And all Wayne wants is for Thursday to come."

Gerrard's move to Chelsea is regarded as a near formality inside the England camp and he pointedly refuses to discuss his Liverpool future.

Rooney, meanwhile, will reportedly be a target for Chelsea while reports suggest Manchester United could offer 20m plus players if Rooney is made available.

But Gerrard is determined to remain focused on what he labelled "probably the biggest match of my career".

And he warned England must watch the speed of Portugal's counter-attacks at the Stadium of Light.

I'm not an out-and-out penalty-taker, but if the manager asks me I won't say no
England's Steven Gerrard

He said: "As a team we have got to be more disciplined. We have got to be careful not to give the ball away in silly areas because they are good on the counter-attack.

"Maybe I will have to be a little bit more disciplined than I was against Croatia.

"I was able to burst forward because there were gaps in the Croatian defence."

And Gerrard will put his hand up to take a penalty if the quarter-final goes to penalties.

He said: "I'll put my name forward and I'm confident I can score if I have to take one, although I missed my last one for Liverpool.

"I had scored a couple before that. I'm not an out-and-out penalty-taker, but if the manager asks me I won't say no."

Links to more Euro 2004 stories



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