‘Broken’ Gerrard to consider England future
England captain Steven Gerrard admitted on Sunday that he is considering his options following his side’s World Cup exit, but denied reports he is poised to announce his international retirement.
“There’s no truth that I’ll be making any announcement within the next week,” the 34-year-old told a press conference in Rio de Janeiro, two days after England’s group-phase elimination was confirmed.
“I think I need more time. I spoke to the manager (Roy Hodgson) to ask for some time to think about my (international) future. I will not be rushing into a decision.
“I am still hurting very bad. I’m broken from what’s gone on over the last couple of weeks. I need to clear my head before I make that big decision.”
Will Steven Gerrard retire from international football? Photo: AFP
Gerrard, who made his England debut in 2000, stands to win his 114th cap against Costa Rica in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday – one less than the record for an outfield player set by David Beckham.
Hodgson, meanwhile, has received the backing of Football Association chairman Greg Dyke and he expressed gratitude that he would be allowed to lead the team into the qualifying campaign for the 2016 European Championship.
“I am very pleased of course that Greg and the board have come out and backed me to continue,” said Hodgson, who sat alongside Gerrard at England’s beachside Urca training base.
“We are midway through a term, there’s a lot of work to be done, but I think we are on a good path. I am very pleased I am going to be the man leading (the team).”
He added: “It means a lot because the job means a lot to me. It’s a fantastic job. It’s a privilege to have it.
“I am very pleased to have had that backing. Scapegoats are always necessary in times of failure; one understands that. But one would like to think the work that you do is judged over a long period of time.”
‘Think about the supporters’
However, Hodgson said that it was too soon to begin looking beyond Euro 2016, which will take place in France, saying: “I am recovering from a very bitter experience, a very raw experience.”
England will complete their Group D campaign against Costa Rica on Tuesday, before flying back to London.
Hodgson said that he would use the game to give playing time to those members of his squad who have yet to feature in Brazil.
“I’m going to be picking it with a view that all the players who are with us get some minutes on the field,” he said.
“I will be changing the team to give others a chance to show what they can do.”
Gerrard added: “It’s a difficult time to be an England player at the moment. Everyone’s hurt, everyone’s disappointed.
“My message to the supporters is: ‘Thanks for the support that they’ve given us, not just at the World Cup, but over the last two years for helping us get here.’
“The important thing is to think about the supporters and the supporters only. They want to win in the last game and the players want that as well.”