Updated: 24/06/2012 08:04 | By pa.press.net

Gerrard: England must rise to occasion

Steven Gerrard (© right)

Steven Gerrard (right) and manager Roy Hodgson view the stadium prior to their quarter-final clash

Skipper Steven Gerrard has urged his England team-mates to "seize the moment" and end their quarter-final hoodoo when they take on Italy in Sunday's Euro 2012 clash in Kiev.

England have a history of slipping up at the last-eight stage of competitions - something which occurred three times during Sven-Goran Eriksson's reign as manager. But Gerrard is confident England can progress to their first semi-final since Euro 96, provided they do everything they can against the Azzurri.

The Liverpool midfielder said: "In previous tournaments we just haven't shown what we are capable of. But our performances are getting stronger in this competition. That is what gives me the belief and confidence that we can end this hoodoo that people talk about."

He added: "I get told that not many of the current players have figured in quarter-finals, but they are all big-game players and are aware of what is required. It is important they seize the moment, seize the opportunity, because from experience, I know they don`t come around very often.

"It is important nobody leaves anything out on the pitch and show the critics we are good enough to compete at this level."

Gerrard knows that England will have to contain Mario Balotelli if he is recalled to the starting line-up by the Italians.

The controversial Manchester City man scored off the bench against the Republic of Ireland on Monday, and is rarely far from the action.

Gerrard said: "We all know about Mario, we watch him week in and week out in the Premier League. He`s an excellent and dangerous player.

"He is someone we will have to take extra care of if he is chosen, and we will have to try and contain him."

24/06/2012 05:47
If England do win against Italy they will never beat the Germans. The Germans do not, unlike England play fair. When England have the ball they then pass to the oposition so that they can have a go too, the opositon do not even have to intercept. However the Germans tend to pass the ball to other members of their team, and the ball has to be intercepted. No where near as sporting.
24/06/2012 10:07

just had a look at the chelsea team, 4 regular english players and a couple of fringe players , and a couple out on loan. which equates to nearly half the team being english. now there are other teams which cannot boast of having nearly half being english , and also be european champions

england will beat italy and be more of a match for the predictable germans

 cmon england

24/06/2012 15:45
we have to rise to the occasion, that"ll be a ******ing first.  !,  all talk ,no idea
24/06/2012 15:04
i have read some of the reviews on here where is the england spirit if we think we cant do it then why should the players think they can, I have every faith in my england team, and when rooney is on form he is like a raging bull he needs the fire in his belly like when he first started I think he is great but one man does not make a team and I believe we are looking good, maybe could be a little quicker on the ball but I believe we will get stronger, so cmon England and the /english supporters lets show them what we are made of and not a pushover that most people think we are, this blog is from a passionate england supporter and i am a woman so you are thinking what does she know, well at least I have faith in our boys, so come on ENGLAND X
24/06/2012 18:05
24/06/2012 16:42
I wish England all the luck, but if we dont win ill be none too surprised.
24/06/2012 14:07
seems  all you lot want england to play like brazil,look at what we have. be realistic.tonight will be very tight & boring.seems alot of you dont like the truth,how can you cheer a bunch of over rated has beens, bring on the youth & build for the future,our midfield are to old & do nothing when they have the ball.as for rooney how can you compare him to ronaldo,gomez,look at spain,s midfield.rooney needs to produce the goods or drop him.he,s our only hope,as for carroll a carthorse.to slow has no ability,£35m for him newcastle must love Liverpool.tonight we will be left wanting,if we get past tonight,god help us against germany,everybodys talking of chelski,look how many foreigners in that team??? against germany we must have pace wallcott&young on the flanks,at their very best.
24/06/2012 12:36
We can beat the Italians, but it will be on pens, a bore draw is most peoples predicition and to be honest i fell asleep in the first half (Englands game)  so im expecting the same again,     nite zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzs
23/06/2012 22:07
England ain't going to win s**t, EVER, they know this. They are overpaid and under-skilled at European and International levels. What they have lost is the desire to play to the max for anything but their clubs.  
24/06/2012 09:06
lve no confidence in this english team. we need pace,we need vision,we need ability to compete with europe,just look @ the chelsea team, how many english in that team?we are just not good enough,
24/06/2012 14:12
This could be Gerrards last chance to win anything at international level. Judging by the amount of flarch coming from his gob, he would make a good car salesman when he retires from football.
24/06/2012 07:36
we are'nt good enough simple as that,dads army more like.& l can say personally, not one of them could lace my boots,there is plenty of young players never to get picked or even noticed but of scouts take bungs??? its all about money,this is the worst england team ever.
24/06/2012 03:19
is gerrard saying that all the team must get a hard on  ? ,,well no matter what they do he will be the biggest pwick on the field ,,,,
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