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Gerrard: England players must keep their cool

The first time England played in Podgorica's City Stadium in 2011, Wayne Rooney was sent off in a 2-2 draw, a red card that meant he missed the start of the Euro 2012 finals.

While that result meant England qualified for last year's championship, their place at the Brazil World Cup is still far from assured as they trail Montenegro by two points.

England will be favourites to emerge with a victory that would put them in charge of their own destiny, but Gerrard knows calm heads will be needed to avoid a damaging setback.

"It is going to be a pressure situation and we don't need to give the referee any excuse to send any of us off or give any unnecessary yellow cards," Gerrard told the English FA's website.

"It is important everyone takes responsibility and stays on the pitch. They will be trying to claim every decision, every foul and will try to intimidate the ref to make rash decisions.

"I'm sure we will have a good ref in charge who will make sensible decisions but it's important we keep our cool and keep everyone on the pitch."

England warmed up for the match with an 8-0 stroll in San Marino on Friday when Montenegro sneaked a 1-0 win in Moldova despite having Milorad Pekovic sent off, meaning he will be suspended for Tuesday's match.

The atmosphere in San Marino was about as harmless as it was possible to be for an away side but Gerrard believes England will be able to cope when things hot up.

"I think their supporters will make it as hostile as they can," said the Liverpool midfielder, who was rested for the match in San Marino along with several other key players such as Ashley Cole and Glen Johnson.

"They are desperate to beat us and everything is against us, but I think we've got the players in the squad to go and handle the situation and get the three points."

It will be a stern test, especially for England's patched-up central defence against Montenegro's Italy-based strikers Mirko Vucinic and Stevan Jovetic.


Juventus striker Vucinic, who scored the only goal in Moldova, said the victory had given his side the perfect boost ahead of England's arrival.

However, far from flying out of the traps on Tuesday, he said the hosts would play a waiting game.

"We have to park the bus in front of our goal and keep possession as long as we can when we have the ball," he told Podgorica daily Vijesti.

"We took a huge amount of weight off our shoulders by beating the Moldovans. The match against England is one of those you crave but we must quickly come down to earth and be ready to leave it all out there and stand our ground."

England are set to recall Gerrard, Cole and Johnson with James Milner also a likely starter, but manager Roy Hodgson's chief concern will be in the centre of his defence.

Hodgson had hoped Rio Ferdinand would be playing in Podgorica but after the Manchester United player's decision to pull out of the squad, together with injuries to