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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 November 2007, 10:37 GMT



Steven Gerrard
Gerrard says England can take confidence from their win in Austria
Steven Gerrard has urged England to be "mentally ready" to take advantage of any slip-up by their Euro 2008 rivals.

"If we do get a chance on Wednesday, we've got to play the game of our lives," said the Liverpool midfielder.

England need Russia or Croatia to falter against Israel or Macedonia respectively on Saturday to be left with a chance of making Euro 2008.

If that happens, they will still need a draw or victory over Group E leaders Croatia at Wembley on Wednesday.

England warmed up for that match with a 1-0 victory over Austria in a friendly in Vienna.

Gerrard, who captained the side, said the England players would be watching the crucial Israel versus Russia game in Tel Aviv on television on Saturday.

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"It was nice to get the win out of this game and now we can go home and watch the Israel game and hopefully get a bit of luck.

"We have got to be mentally ready to take advantage of any slip-ups on Wednesday.

"It will be like a second chance for us if you like."

Peter Crouch grabbed England's winner on a snowy night in Austria but Michael Owen limped out before half-time with a thigh injury, ruling him out of the Croatia game.

"It is always a minus when you lose a player like Michael Owen, one of the best goalscorers in the world," said Gerrard.

"But it is an opportunity for someone else on Wednesday night and that goal will have done Peter's confidence no harm.

"Strikers thrive on goals and he stuck his goal away really well."

Jermaine Defoe replaced Michael Owen and looks likely to start alongside Crouch for England's all-or-nothing tie at Wembley on Wednesday evening.



SEE ALSO
Injured Owen to miss Croatia game
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Israel could hold key for England
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England 'took rivals too lightly'
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McClaren critics anger Barnwell
15 Nov 07 |  Internationals


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