England deserve to be jeered by fans, says Gerrard
Watford: Captain Steven Gerrard said England deserve to be jeered by their own fans when they play Hungary on Wednesday in their first match following their dismal World Cup campaign in South Africa.
Gerrard told a news conference at England’s base north of London that he knows Fabio Capello’s side will be booed at the start of the friendly and that the players expected it -- and deserved it.
Asked if he would boo if he was a fan in the crowd at Wembley he replied, “Yes, I probably would.”
He added: “I’m expecting a mixed reaction. I’m sure there’ll be boos but we have to take it on the chin like men. We deserve it, we let them down, but hopefully, in time, we can show them we are a good team and we are desperate to make them happy in the future.
England, tipped as being one of the pre-tournament favourites for the World Cup, disappointed throughout and were eliminated after losing 4-1 to Germany in the second round, their worst-ever defeat at a World Cup finals.
“Everyone believed we were going to come back with our heads held high after a successful tournament,” added Gerrard.
“We are in a difficult moment as a group. But football being the way it is you can always turn it round and given time, we hope to get the confidence and belief back for the most important people, the supporters, which everyone wants.
“This is a proud nation with a massive following. We have supporters who follow us all round the world and spend large amounts of money doing so. I can understand their frustrations.
“We have to work hard to turn it round. It is not going to happen overnight or in weeks and months. But if we can qualify for the next big tournament hopefully then things can be different.”
Capello said on Monday that he planned to start with his senior players who played at the World Cup because he knew the team were going to be jeered by the crowd -- but Gerrard said that he had no doubts the Italian was still the right man to lead England forward.
He said: “I’ve got big faith in this manager. It would be very stupid and naive not to have that moving forward. He’s a fantastic manager.
“You can’t shift all the blame onto the manager in these situations. We have to share the blame and take it on the chin together.”
Wednesday’s match is England’s only warm-up before the start of their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign in September in which they are grouped with Bulgaria, Wales, Montenegro and Switzerland.