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Page last updated at 22:51 GMT, Saturday, 19 June 2010 23:51 UK

World Cup 2010: Gerrard wants more fighting spirit

England captain Steven Gerrard
England play Slovenia on Wednesday in their final Group C game

Captain Steven Gerrard has called on England to show more spirit if they are to avoid an early World Cup exit.

The team was booed after their 0-0 draw with Algeria on Friday, leaving them desperate for a win in their Group C match against Slovenia on Wednesday.

Gerrard said: "We need to find more spirit. Against Algeria, I thought we weren't aggressive enough.

"We never showed enough urgency. We certainly weren't clinical enough around the box."

He added: "We need to find something and quick for Wednesday."

Many fans booed England as they left the field, prompting striker Wayne Rooney to speak directly into a television camera, criticising the fans' reaction.

Gerrard believed the fans were "entitled to their opinion".

"It is the last-chance saloon. What's done is done now. There is no good looking back. We can't change that," said the Liverpool midfielder.

"As captain, I've got to make sure we don't feel sorry for ourselves and we've got to go out Wednesday night and try and perform a lot better.

606: DEBATE

"We also know the fans pay good money. They have been terrific in the two games, getting behind us and showing us support.

"We need to produce more for them. Hopefully on Wednesday we can send them away smiling. They are entitled to their opinion. Unfortunately we sent them away upset and slightly concerned."

After two games, England are third in Group C behind leaders Slovenia and the USA, who have the same number of points as Fabio Capello's men but have scored more goals.

Gerrard admitted he was surprised by the lacklustre performance, especially after an uninspiring draw against the USA in their opening match on 12 June.

"I thought the first game (against the United States) would get the cobwebs out of the system and I am very surprised with this result," he said.

"We prepared really well for the Algeria game. Going into it we felt good, and unfortunately we haven't delivered the result we wanted.

"We need to get back to the form we showed in qualifying. In qualifying, we had the majority of the team firing on all cylinders.

"We need to recover the spirit really quickly and get back to the form we showed then."

The final round of games in Group C take place on Wednesday, with England playing Slovenia and the USA taking on bottom team Algeria.

Former England captain John Terry said the players needed to replicate their club form for their country.

"We, as a group of players, need to relax and just do what we do week in and week out and what we did in the group campaign to get here," said the Chelsea defender.

"Everyone knows we can play and we see that week in and week out, us playing football on the floor.

"Nothing should change. We shouldn't be changing the way we play."

Frank Lampard was optimistic about England's chances of getting the victory needed to progress to the last 16.

"We know that and we just have to get our heads down for Wednesday," he said.

"We have had big one-off games in the past and responded. I believe we can do that again on Wednesday.

David Beckham and England coach Fabio Capello
Beckham joined Capello's staff after injury put him out of the World Cup

"If you look at it and say 'we've got to play Slovenia and beat them to go through' then you should fancy England.

"But it's up to us to perform. We can't perform like we did against Algeria."

Former England captain David Beckham admitted the team had underperformed so far at the World Cup.

Beckham is part of England coach Fabio Capello's backroom team after a torn Achilles tendon injury ruled him out of playing at the tournament.

"We know we've not played well in the first two games but we haven't lost, we've got two points," said Beckham.

"It's easy to get it back on track. If we win our last game everything looks good again."



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see also
How England can qualify
23 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Fan breach played down by Beckham
19 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
England display confuses Capello
19 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Fan enters England dressing room
19 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Saadane surprised by poor England
18 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Highlights - England 0-0 Algeria
18 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
England v Algeria photos
18 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010


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