• International football

Gerrard insists he's fine as Lampard starts firing

ESPN staff
September 8, 2012

England skipper Steven Gerrard has insisted he is fully fit for Tuesday's game against Ukraine - saying he was withdrawn at half-time against Moldova only because the game was already won.

The Three Lions scored five goals in Chisinau as they breezed to victory in their opening World Cup qualifier, but Gerrard sparked injury concerns after he was withdrawn by manager Roy Hodgson at half-time.

The England boss already has fears over John Terry's availability for the match against Ukraine.

Gerrard, however, insisted after the match that he is fit - noting that he could be withdrawn already to conserve energy as the game had already been won by then. England were 3-0 up after the opening 45 minutes.

"There are no problems at all, I'm fit and fine," Gerrard said.

He added: "I think when you come up against nations like this, ideally you want to finish the game by half-time.

"Sometimes they make it difficult and put a lot of men behind the ball but I thought we pressed them really high, won the ball high up and we were lethal in front of goal."

Gerrard started the game alongside Frank Lampard in midfield, a pairing that has not always meshed in the past. But the Chelsea midfielder, who scored twice, thought the duo worked well together during the period they were on the pitch together.

"They're tricky places to come I'd say and the early goal always helps settle your nerves," Lampard noted of the performance. "After that our first-half performance in particular was sharp - full of some young pace in the team - and that won us the game in 45.

"It's nice [to score]. But more importantly I think the way I play these days, in a bit more disciplined role, those kinds of goals are few and far between.

"When you're part of a good performance and you see the young players coming through it gives you real excitement."

On Gerrard, he added: "Steven's always a pleasure to play with as well because he's a top player."

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