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Page last updated at 14:48 GMT, Sunday, 7 September 2008 15:48 UK

England role frustrates Gerrard

Steven Gerrard
Gerrard says he has played in his best position five times for England

Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard has revealed his growing frustration at not being played in his favoured central midfield position with England.

The 28-year-old, who missed England's lacklustre win over Andorra on Saturday with a groin strain, has been deployed on the left or right often in the past.

And he told the Sunday Times: "I've played in my favourite position for England five times in 68 games.

"I've paid the price for being able to do a decent job in other positions."

England coach Fabio Capello continued the trend of playing Gerrard out of position when his side faced the Czech Republic last month, deploying the Liverpool star on the left.

He added: "Other players don't get shunted around because they can't do it. I can't go and play on the right or the left and become Kaka or Robinho, I just go out there, give 100% and do a steady job.

"Every England manager has known my favourite position. You get the most out of me when I'm box-to-box, defending at one end, throwing in tackles, then getting my passing game going and getting to the edge of the box for shots.

"I find it difficult to play how I want to in the other positions."

And Gerrard also admitted that his favoured midfield partner would be more defensive - a Nicky Butt type, as opposed to a Frank Lampard or Paul Scholes.

"You get the best out of me when I'm playing with a disciplined midfielder who gives me that freedom to play box-to-box," he said.

"I can operate in a deeper role - I did it for England against Brazil at Wembley and got man of the match - but it's not something I really enjoy."

Meanwhile, Gerrard, who will also miss England's crunch World Cup qualifying clash with Croatia on Wednesday after undergoing groin surgery, has played down his chances of returning for Liverpool's match against Manchester United next weekend.

"I've a decent chance for the Champions League game in Marseille (September 16)," he said.

"I've spoken to the manager and told him I'd like to do a certain amount of training before I come back. I don't want to go into a big game only having had one session with the boys."

see also
Capello angry with Cole & Rooney
07 Sep 08 |  Internationals
Andorra coach hits out at Capello
07 Sep 08 |  Internationals
Capello considering Cole recall
07 Sep 08 |  Internationals
England must raise game in Zagreb
07 Sep 08 |  Internationals
Andorra 0-2 England
06 Sep 08 |  Internationals
Pick your England XI
31 Aug 07 |  Internationals
Gerrard misses England qualifiers
28 Aug 08 |  Liverpool

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