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Oct 14, 2013

Steven Gerrard: No one talking playoffs

England captain Steven Gerrard has said the players have not allowed the prospect of missing out on automatic qualification for the World Cup finals to cross their minds.

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As England prepare for Tuesday's decisive qualifier against Poland at Wembley, when a win would guarantee their place in Brazil, Gerrard believes the confidence gained from Friday's 4-1 win against Montenegro will banish any negative thoughts.

"None of the players have mentioned the play-offs," the Liverpool skipper said. "We want to seize this opportunity and do the job. There will be 90,000, a full house at Wembley on the back of a good performance the other night, and we are ready to go.

"I think the Poland tactics will be very similar to Montenegro. They will want to defend really well and make it as difficult as possible.

"It is important that we show patience but, with the attacking players we have got, it will only be a matter of time before the breakthrough comes. We are that confident."

Gerrard said he felt responsibility to make sure England reached the finals, adding that he believed the attack-minded team that beat Montenegro offered a glimpse of a bright England future.

"From a personal point of view, this game is huge," he added. "When Roy gave me the captaincy on a permanent basis after Euro 2012, the job for me was to try and lead the boys to Brazil.

"It is going to be a fantastic carnival of a tournament out there, and everyone wants to be part of it. The supporters and the players are no different. That's why it's so important to get the win against Poland."

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