Speaking at a press conference, Gerrard insists England boss Roy Hodgson has asked him to stay and no decision has been taken yet. England manager, Roy Hodgson believes his skipper is capable of leading England through a Euro 2016 qualifying campaign and on into the tournament itself. Gerrard admits he’ll sit down with Hodgson and Brendan Rodgers after a few weeks, but right now he needs a holiday and is still “broken” and “hurt” after England’s shock exit from the World Cup group stages.
“The manager has asked me to stay,” said the midfielder.
“I need more time over the summer to consider my future and I won’t be rushing into a decision. I’m still hurting. I’m broken from what’s gone on over the last couple of weeks and I need to get away on holiday and clear my head before I make that decision. I’ve agreed to speak to the manager in a few weeks’ time. It is a big decision and I’ll make it in due course.
“It’s a tough moment for myself. In my head I’ve got a mixture of emotions at the moment: frustration, pain. The season for Liverpool ended badly for me and the team. I was coming out of that trying to put that to bed, trying to get some positivity back with the World Cup.
“The way things have gone since is exactly what I didn’t want to happen. But I’ve faced adversity before and played through it, stayed strong. I have to try and grieve, get away with the family and away from international football and then make a decision. It would be wrong for me to make that decision now. I need to get away for a while.”
Liverpool’s imminent return to Champions League will be a major factor if Gerrard decided to retire from international football.
“It’s not a decision I will take lightly,” he said. “I will consider it long and hard, and speak to numerous people who will help guide me the right way. I’m the type of person who puts everyone before myself. I’ve done that all the way through, even before I became a footballer, and I need to make this decision for myself, for what’s best for me. I’ll do it in due course. I won’t keep people hanging for months and months. The first person who’ll know is Roy. I spoke to him this morning and said I’d need at least a few weeks to go over it in my head. And then I’ll speak to Roy again.”
“I never watched it all but was flicking to check the score,” he said. “I had a small, tiny glimmer of hope [that Italy might win and preserve England’s hopes] but that made the pain even worse when the game was gone. It was always a desperate position to be in.
“To me that’s not good enough – to be pinning your hopes on others – when you’ve got the talented players we’ve got in this squad. So the last couple of days have been grim.
“When you’re an England player, captain, fan and you’ve worked so hard to get into this position, for two years to get to a World Cup, and had that belief and confidence you’d get out the group … for it all to backfire over a few days, well, it’s a tough place to be in.
“I’m not going to shirk blame or responsibility, so I’ve got to take it on the chin for the next couple of weeks, months, however long. We have got another game coming up in Belo Horizonte and then, after a holiday but before you know it, I’ll be back at Liverpool and at the start of another qualifying campaign for England. You’ve got to get it out of your system as soon as possible.”
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