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By ESPN Staff

Gerrard happy to adapt to England strike role

Steven Gerrard believes he can adapt to play as a second striker at the World Cup should England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson need him to do so.

While Wayne Rooney is absent with a broken metatarsal, Liverpool midfielder Gerrard - who has been deployed in an advanced role for his club with mixed results - will happily step into the breach.

'We did it a lot against Chelsea because we always wanted a man against Claude Makelele, who starts a lot of their attacks,' Gerrard told the Daily Telegraph.

'When I first played there I must admit it was a bit strange to receiving the ball so high up the pitch with my back to goal, having top defenders like John Terry and (Ricardo) Carvalho right behind.

'But I like to think that I'm at a stage in my career where I can learn quite quickly and adapt to certain situations.'

Gerrard also revealed that Rooney is 'really hopeful' of playing at some stage in the tournament, although it remains unlikely he will be fit to play in the opening game against Paraguay on June 10.

'He thinks he's got a chance of playing some part,' said Gerrard.

'He told me that he doesn't want to target one particular game in case he doesn't make it, but he's really hopeful that he's going to be part of it.'

The Liverpool midfielder added: 'Sven's got to make a big decision on him but I'm just glad Wayne hasn't been ruled out completely.'