Gerrard has mixed emotions

  • Last Updated: October 18 2012, 16:12 BST

Steven Gerrard admits he has mixed emotions about England's start to their World Cup qualifying campaign after the initial spell of four matches in just over a month.

The England captain is delighted to be top of the group with a return of eight points from a possible 12 after a 1-1 draw in Poland on Wednesday night on a difficult pitch.

But he is disappointed England have not amassed more points and second-placed Montenegro can overhaul them if they win their game in hand.

However, the Liverpool midfielder remains optimistic that England will eventually overcome their rivals in the battle to reach Brazil in 2014.

Gerrard said: "Montenegro got a fantastic result in Ukraine (a 1-0 win) which has turned the group in their favour.

"I'm happy to be top of the group although slightly disappointed not to have a few more points on the board. But I don't think Montenegro and Ukraine will come to Poland and take maximum points.

"At the end of the group, hopefully this point in Warsaw will be seen as an important one.

"I'm not worried about Poland when they get to Wembley. On a better surface we will take maximum points. I'm confident we can beat all those sides."

Winger James Milner believes there is still improvement to come from England, who were second best in the second half in Warsaw.

The Manchester City player said: "The positive is we are top of the group. That's where you want to be, at the top and looking down on everyone else.

"We know there is more to come from us as a team as well. Poland is a tough place to come and we are still unbeaten.

"You can see from the group that teams are going to take points off each other, which is what has happened so far.

"We need to make sure we win our home games, make sure we stay unbeaten away and hopefully pick up a few wins as well. I'm sure we will do that and keep improving."

Milner gave an honest assessment of England's performance after the game was rescheduled due to a waterlogged pitch in the national stadium.

He added: "I don't think we played nowhere near as well as we can but we dug in and took a point, which is one of the positives.

"It was frustrating not to hold onto the lead. We didn't move the ball nowhere near as well as we can do which was disappointing.

"Conditions were difficult. The pitch was heavy. That was going to be the case after Tuesday night and there was unpredictable bounce.

"But it was the same for both sides and there are no excuses."

Defender Phil Jagielka admitted: "It was probably not the best performance. We didn't play well for the majority of the game.

"We had our backs to the wall for most of the second half which is fair play to them. They put us under pressure."


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