Lescott: England must adapt

  • Last Updated: September 13 2012, 0:11 BST

Joleon Lescott says England need to come to terms with different refereeing standards to avoid a repeat of the flurry of yellow and red cards handed out against Ukraine on Tuesday night.

Gerrard was sent off against Ukraine

Defender Lescott was one of five England players booked by Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir, who also sent off skipper Steven Gerrard for two yellow cards in the World Cup qualifier at Wembley.

Four of the bookings in the 1-1 draw came for leading with the arm in aerial challenges.

Lescott said: "Maybe the bookings give the impression England were a physical team. That was not the case.

"If you look at the challenges and the cards given, they were a bit harsh but it is different to the Premier League.

"We know being as physical is not allowed at international level so we know we need to be patient at times. They let things go in the Premier League.

"It is something players have to get used to, definitely. But most of us have played at international level before so we know what it is about.

"Did we have a bad rub of green with the referee? Maybe, but like I said, we know the standard of refereeing is totally different to the Premier League."

Gerrard's red card means he will miss the home clash with minnows San Marino next month.

Lescott said: "He was gutted. He showed his determination throughout the game and got man of the match. He is a player who wears his heart on his sleeve.

"On another night, I don't think it is a red card.

"San Marino won't be the toughest game in the group but Steven is not happy to miss any game."

Despite England's unhappiness at some of the refereeing decisions, Lescott believes the Ukraine performance served as a reminder that qualification for the 2014 finals will not be straightforward.

He said: "Qualification is not always plain sailing. I think if you look at the game we played against them in the Euros, it was our toughest in the group.

"We knew it wasn't going to be easy, they've got good players, and are a good unit, so overall we were pleased with the performance but maybe not the result.

"We created enough chances to score more goals and if that happens, then everyone goes away happy."