Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Injury Woes Anger Gerrard

England skipper Steven Gerrard has spoken of his anger at seeing England's Euro 2012 preparations disrupted by a spate of untimely injuries.

Since naming his 23-man squad for this summer's European Championship, Roy Hodgson's pre-tournament plans have been rocked by regular withdrawals.

Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy was the first to fall, after earning his first senior call-up, and Gareth Barry limped out of a friendly outing against Norway.

Hodgson's midfield options were then further depleted when the vastly-experienced Frank Lampard picked up a thigh injury in training.

England headed into their final warm-up match against Belgium on Saturday hoping to avoid any more scares, but saw Gary Cahill suffered a double fracture to his jaw after colliding with Joe Hart.

All of those forced to pull out have been replaced, but Gerrard admits their presence will be missed in Poland and Ukraine.

He said: "Losing Gary is a massive blow. His performances in the last six months have been colossal for Chelsea.

"He was a colossus in the Champions League final win over Bayern Munich. We needed him.

"I am angry because we have lost some big players with a tournament eight or nine days away.

"That's the blow and that's the price you pay for these warm-up games.

"To do well in these tournaments you have to have your big players and to lose Gary is another huge blow on the back of Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry."

But, as regards the challenge by Dries Mertens which led to Cahill being ruled out, Gerrard said: "I don't think you can blame the guy because he was itching to score a goal.

"Maybe he got carried away but I don't think you can put any blame on the kid."

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