Wednesday, March 28, 2007

ENGLAND ON TRACK TO QUALIFY.




Steve McClaren praised Steven Gerrard’s display of character and commitment after the Liverpool skipper drove England to a 3-0 win over Andorra.



Gerrard, playing in central midfield, gave a man-of-the-match performance capped by the first two goals to break down a stubborn Andorran team on what was becoming a frustrating night in Spain.

And the England Head Coach was full of praise for Gerrard. "I thought Stevie Gerrard, really stepped forward tonight. You need that character in a team and he did it tonight.

"We said to the players at half-time you’ve got to show real guts and character in the second-half because of the conditions on and off the field and they coped with it, got stronger and better.

"We said you need to show character and they did that, even the subs who came on."

Supporters showed their frustration at times and McClaren admitted: "That’s football, you cannot please everybody. But the players gave everything. Yes they were a little short on confidence but they never stopped going and showed guts and got their rewards. I am proud of them.

"I can understand the frustration and the disappointment against Israel, but we didn’t lose that game and we came here to win and have done that. When everybody sits down and reflects, we are still in a very good position, it’s still in our hands.

"We’ve got a lot to do, but I would say to the fans: ‘Stick with the players’. The players want to do it for the fans, they are giving their all, and they came through tonight."

England: 1 Paul Robinson, 2 Micah Richards, 3 Ashley Cole, 4 Steven Gerrard, 5 Rio Ferdinand, 6 John Terry (c), 7 Owen Hargreaves, 8 Stewart Downing, 9 Wayne Rooney, 10 Andrew Johnson, 11 Aaron Lennon






Substitutes: 12 Jamie Carragher, 13 Ben Foster, 14 Gareth Barry, 15 Kieron Dyer, 16 Michael Carrick, 17 David Nugent, 18 Jermain Defoe

Andorra: 1 Koldo, 5 Lima, 2 Ayala, 4 Sonejee, 6 Escura, 8 Garcia, 7 Vieira, 11 Ruiz, 17 Jimenez, 3 Bernaus, 9 Toscano,

Match Officials:

Referee: Bruno Paixao (Portugal)
Assistant Referees: Jose Cardinal and Alfredo Braga (Portugal)
Fourth Official: Joao Ferreira (Portugal)

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