London: A 2-0 victory over Serbia on Thursday extended the run for Laurent Blanc`s side, with Roy Hodgson’s men their next opponents in their opening game of the summer`s tournament.
Gerrard maintained that he respects and is fully aware of the threat posed by Les Bleus, but is adamant that England can start their campaign with three points on June 11.
“I watched France last night against Serbia. They look very strong. They’re a good team,” he told reporters on Friday.
“We know a lot about them because we’ve played against them before and they’ve got some players that play in the Premier League. So we’re aware it’s a very tough game.”
“We know if we play to our maximum and play to top form there’s a chance we can beat them. We’ve got a lot of respect for them but they’re not unbeatable.”\
Gerrard then focused his attentions on England’s remaining Group D opponents, adding that the potentially tough games against Sweden and Ukraine underline the challenge that they hace to advance to the knockout round.
“It’s a big game but there’s two others after it as well. I think it’s very important not to lose the game,” the midfielder stressed.
“Obviously a win would be fantastic but if we can avoid defeat it sets us up nicely for the next two."
“The challenge is to get out of this group. Hopefully in first but we get out of the group, that’s the first challenge.”
In addition, injuries to Gareth Barry and Frank Lampard leave England thin on the ground in the centre of the pitch but, despite this, Gerrard believes that the Three Lions can go far in Poland and Ukraine.
“It’s a huge blow that Frank’s got to go home,” he continued. “Especially on the back of losing Gareth Barry as well but as players when you out to play and train you’ve got to give it 100 per cent.
“You can’t afford to ease back or relax because sometimes you can pick up injuries if you approach it that way as well.
“Of course we’re ambitious and we’ve still got that belief that we can do well."
“We don’t want to cause unnecessary expectation but we still believe that we can do really well.”
First Published: Saturday, June 02, 2012, 08:59