London: England football captain Steven Gerrard is hoping to start a salvage operation by leading his chastened team to a friendly victory over Hungary at the unfriendly Wembley Stadium on Wednesday, admitting that it may take time to win back the support of angry Three Lions fans following the team`s dismal show in South Africa.
"Still "hurting badly" from the 4-1 World Cup thrashing by a technically and tactically superior Germany, Gerrard was a mixture of contrition, realism and defiance as he reflected on the toxic fallout from that troubled trip to South Africa," The Telegraph reports.
"It`s easy to say sorry` to the supporters, but the supporters don`t want an apology in a press conference. They want to see the team go out and show how sorry we are by performing well, turning things around and qualifying for the next tournament," Gerrard was quoted as saying.It is not going to happen overnight. It is not going to happen in weeks and months. It is going to take years to turn this situation around. This is as low as it gets, going out the way we did. If we are going to have a successful tournament and we qualified well it would turn around," he added.
To get back the support of the irate English fans, Gerrard and company must advance themselves at Euro 2012 from a group involving Bulgaria, Switzerland, Wales and Montenegro.
"I don`t think it will be easy to qualify. This group will be a lot harder than the World Cup one," the midfielder said.