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Gerrard: England must learn from Euros
Skipper Steven Gerrard admits he is beginning his last World Cup campaign but believes England are not far away from finally delivering success at a major tournament.
Gerrard says there are lessons to be learned from Euro 2012, when England were beaten on penalties in the quarter-finals against Italy. But he is confident England's mixture of young talent and experience means they can be confident ahead of the opening qualifier in Moldova on Friday and the home clash with Ukraine on Tuesday.
Gerrard said: "You've got to turn the negatives into a positive. You don't win every game for club and country, you've got to handle setbacks and react to them. There are numerous things that the team and the squad need to look at from the summer. There were a lot of positives but negatives as well."
He added: "With Roy in charge and the staff, they will be showing us those pros and cons from the summer and we will try and work on where we went wrong."
England have only lost one qualifier in the last 18 and Gerrard said: "That record is very impressive and it shows we are not as far away as some people think we are.
"Of course, we've lost on penalties to Italy and they were slightly the better team over 120 minutes, but I don't think the margin between us and the big teams is as big as some people think.
"We believe if we keep learning and improving and don't make the mistakes of the summer, then sooner rather than later we can get a big result against one of these big nations which will be the difference between an unsuccessful and successful tournament."
Gerrard is determined to go out on a high in terms of World Cup campaigns.
He said: "If you are not excited being captain of your country, going into a World Cup campaign with Brazil at the end of it, you are in the wrong game.
"I'm excited, I've got a lot of confidence in my team-mates that we can qualify and then you've got the chance to have a successful tournament."