World Cup: Skipper Steven Gerrard urges England to be professional
England captain Steven Gerrard has demanded the team be fully switched on for their two upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
Last Updated: 06/09/13 7:58pm
Roy Hodgson's men welcome Moldova on Friday night at Wembley and then face a tricky trip to Ukraine four days later with their hopes of a place in the 2014 tournament in Brazil hanging in the balance.
England trail Group H leaders Montenegero by two points with a game in hand and the pressure is on but Gerrard is keeping calm and said: "If we show the same attitude and professionalism we did when we went away from home then we could be comfortable on Friday.
"It's a big week and we need as many points as possible. I think Ukraine's a very exciting game. These are the tests you want. I think we can lift the country if we put in two good performances this week."
The bookies are suggesting that England's match with Moldova is a foregone conclusion, but Hodgson remains wary of facing rejuvenated opponents.
The England boss said: "I don't quantify games as one being easy or one being hard. Moldova have proven very hard to beat and we know they will be hard to beat on Friday night and I will need my best players."
And with four matches left to decide who automatically qualifies for the event in Rio, Hodgson is targeting a minimum of three wins.
"The four remaining games are of vital importance," he added. "I think 10 points would see us mathematically certain. I'll leave the maths and statistics to you guys.
"I would say 10 points as long we don't lose in Ukraine and we beat Montenegro."
England suffered a huge blow on Thursday with the news that striker Daniel Sturridge joined Wayne Rooney in the treatment room forcing him out of the Moldova match.
"It is a shame for Daniel," Gerrard added. "The stage is set for him to come and shine on the international stage so fingers crossed he will be back for Tuesday because he certainly makes England stronger."