Gerrard: Club failure will fire me up for Fabio

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has vowed to overcome the disappointment of losing out on the Premier League title by firing England to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Mathematically the Merseysiders are still in the hunt, but with Manchester United only needing a single point to win the title from their final two games, it looks unlikely.

Liverpool are six points behind the Red Devils and would need them to lose both games to stand a chance of winning their first Premier League title.

But the newly crowned Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year says he will be fully focused on the Three Lions’ World Cup qualifying campaign.

“It will certainly be difficult from a Liverpool point of view to lose out on the title, but the important thing for me is to get that out of my system as quick as possible and get my head on those World Cup qualifiers," he said in a video interview with Nationwide.

“I won’t be able to perform the way I want to perform in those games if I’m still thinking about losing out on the title race.

“We’ve got two big games and if we win those games it puts us in the driving seat to qualify."

England are currently top of Group Six with maximum points from five games. In June, Fabio Capello’s men travel to Kazakhstan and host Andorra. 

Two more wins would almost secure their ticket to South Africa, but Gerrard is adamant the players have to avoid complacency against two weaker sides. 

“We need to show them respect, score early and try and build on that,” he said.

"With the way we’re playing we can build on the five wins we’ve had previously. I’m looking to take six points out of the next two games."

Although Gerrard is confident the team have what it takes to go to the next World Cup and prove themselves on the biggest stage, he moved to calm the hype surrounding the side’s success. 

“We’ve got potential, we’ve got good players. We know we’ve got the players to be successful at that level, but the important thing is to not raise expectations too high," he said. 

“It wasn’t so long ago this team failed to qualify for a tournament. It was a massive disappointment and all the players had to go away and take a long hard look out ourselves. We knew we let the country down and the fans."

Anfield’s favourite son believes England’s new-found confidence owes much to the new manager.

“He’s slowly installing a winning mentality," he said. "I think that’s shown in our performances because we’ve started this campaign a lot more positive and playing better football.

“He’s one of the best managers in the world. I think we’re very lucky to have him and I have every belief in him that he can turn this England team into a better side and be successful at the next World Cup."

Before England’s summer fixtures, Gerrard has to wrap up the domestic season with Liverpool – a campaign that has had many positives on both a personal and team level, including becoming the Footballer of the Year.

“It means everything to me," he said. “It’s a fantastic accolade. If you look at the standard of players in this country it’s very high so to be named as footballer of the year is very special.

“From a Liverpool point of view there’s been a lot of progression. It’s been fantastic to be involved in a title race with the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea and run them all them all way. It shows we’re a good side.”

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