Gerrard issues England rallying cry

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England captain Steven Gerrard is aiming to build on the draw against France in Friday night’s clash against Sweden.

With expectations at an all-time low, Joleon Lescott’s sparked the Three Lions’ campaign into life with a header against Les Bleus in Donetsk, before Samir Nasri’s long-range effort earned Laurent Blanc’s side a point in Group D.

It leaves both teams in a good position to progress to the quarter-finals of the competition, with Ukraine now best placed to spoil the party after their shock win against the Swedes in Kiev.

For Liverpool midfielder Gerrard, the draw against France was a major confidence boost for the player’s in Roy Hodgson’s squad, and that they can now move forward with an eye on progressing to the last eight of the competition.

"We are not getting carried away and we just need to build on each game and the France game has gone now. We've got out of it partly what we wanted. We will analyse the game and what we did wrong and right and we go for the Swedes now,” said Gerrard.

"We need to get three points against them and then the point against France becomes very important. I don't want to disrespect the other two teams. Of course, on paper France are favourites in the group.

"The Swedes are difficult and I don't think we've beaten them for a long time in a competitive game. We will respect them but, with all respect, it's a game we should win."

In the World Cup in South Africa two years ago, England picked up a point against America on their opening night, with Gerrard’s early strike cancelled out by Clint Dempsey’s long-range effort and Robert Green’s moment to forget.

However, the skipper says circumstances are completely different in Poland & Ukraine, and that confidence is high from the draw, rather than low after dropping two points.

"The difference now to two years ago is we came off that game against the USA deflated with no belief and confidence,” he concluded.

"I think after getting a point against France, in the dressing room there was a lot of belief and confidence and a lot of togetherness and that is what you need."

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Steven Gerrard

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