Liverpool ace tells England to watch their tongue

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Football News

England skipper Steven Gerrard has stressed the need to avoid swearing at referees during the World Cup to cut out the risk of picking up suspensions.

Referees are reported to be under instructions from FIFA to clamp down on foul language during the four-week tournament in South Africa.

Gerrard insists similar guidelines already exist in the Barclays Premier League and knows the importance of England keeping all 11 players on the pitch - including Wayne Rooney - if they are to do themselves justice.

He said: "You just don't swear at the refs. It is important in this day and age for referees to be respected."

Gerrard continued: "If you don't do that, then you are booked and then the team suffers. Everyone has to be on their guard.

"To be fair, we don't get away with it in the Premier League either. But the coach (Fabio Capello) has stressed the importance of having 11 men on the pitch.

"The job is difficult enough with 11 players and we have suffered a couple of times in the past from having people sent off."

One of those was Rooney - against Portugal in the 2006 finals - and his self control has again been in focus this week with his booking against the Platinum Stars.

But Gerrard has urged Rooney to take any frustration he may feel out on his opponents - starting with Saturday's opening clash againast the United States in Rustenburg.

Gerrard said: "I am not sure whether Wayne is going to be targeted by USA but he is experienced enough to deal with it.

"Wayne understands we need him on the pitch. He is a fantastic player and he has to make sure he controls his frustration and takes it out on the opposition."

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