• World Cup qualifiers

Gerrard rues second half demise

ESPN staff
March 26, 2013

Steven Gerrard believes England will still qualify for the 2014 World Cup - as long as they learn from their second half slump against Montenegro.

The Three Lions were held to a 1-1 draw in Podgorica on Tuesday, a result that leaves Roy Hodgson's side two points adrift of the Eastern European side in the race for the automatic qualification spot for Brazil in 18 months' time.

A late goal from substitute Dejan Damjanovic prevented England claiming all three points, and Gerrard acknowledged that a poor second half performance had cost the visitors dearly.

"We stopped playing after the break for 20 or 30 minutes and away from home you can't do that," Gerrard said. "We stopped passing the ball and that's when we lost control. I think they deserved the equaliser.

"There was a lot of experience out there and we showed that in the first half - we controlled the game.

"But the problem is, at 1-0 you're always vulnerable - you've got to go on and get that second goal to be in complete control and we didn't do that.

"They took control of the second half - up until the last ten minutes - and they deserved the draw."

After the game, head coach Hodgson insisted that England are still in the driving seat in the race for World Cup qualification. Gerrard believes his boss is correct, although he is under no illusions about the ways England still need to improve if they are to avoid a shock.

"We're still confident we can finish top of the group," he added. "We need to win all our games and we certainly need to improve on the second half performance and play like we did in the first half.

"We need to go and get three points when we go to Ukraine and we need a perfect result at home."

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