• World Cup

We must seize the day - Gerrard

ESPN staff
October 15, 2013
ESPN FC: Must win for England

Steven Gerrard is urging his team-mates to "seize the day" as England prepare for their vital World Cup qualifier with Poland.

The Liverpool midfielder will lead Roy Hodgson's side out at Wembley on Tuesday night knowing victory will book a spot in Brazil next summer.

And Gerrard was eager to point out what it would mean to every football fan in the country, as well as himself on a personal level, if England's name were in December's draw for the finals.

"I'd be the proudest man in the country," Gerrard, who will earn his 107th cap, told the Daily Mail. "Everyone knows the size of the game and everyone is itching to play.

"It will be a big personal achievement for me to say I was the captain through a campaign and led the lads to Brazil. I'd be delighted.

"We are all aware of how big this is and what's at stake. We need to seize the day."

England put themselves in control of Group H on Friday night with a convincing 4-1 win over Montenegro. But with second-placed Ukraine all-but guaranteed victory against San Marino in their final match, anything but a win will see England fall into the play-offs.

Hodgson has warned of overconfidence following Friday's win, but his skipper is fully aware of the job that faces the team.

Gerrard added: "For 90 minutes we have to be aggressive and take the game to the opposition. We have to be patient as I think Poland will have similar tactics to Montenegro and make it hard for us.

"There's huge expectation among the fans. There is pressure, but you've really got to be excited by games like this.

"I'm looking forward to it and I'm sure everyone else is. At times the team have played with too much fear and pressure, but Roy has created an atmosphere that is very relaxed but very professional.

"He has shown trust in the players."

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