Gerrard honoured by captaincy
Johannesburg - Steven Gerrard spoke on Thursday of his sense of pride at having been named England captain following the injury to Rio Ferdinand.
Steven Gerrard (AFP)
Gerrard will skipper England against the USA in their opening World Cup fixture on Saturday, having been given the armband when Ferdinand was forced to withdraw from the squad with a knee injury last week.
"I'm hugely honoured to be leading the boys out," Gerrard said.
"When I first heard about Rio's injury my emotions were mixed. I was sick to the stomach for Rio, because he's a massive player for us, but now I'm very excited to lead the boys out in a World Cup." In Fabio Capello's first games as manager in 2008, Gerrard was one of a number of candidates for the captaincy, but was overlooked, initially, for John Terry.
When Terry subsequently lost the armband over his alleged affair with the girlfriend of teammate Wayne Bridge, it passed to Ferdinand, with the suggestion being that Gerrard was too quiet.
He insists, though, he will not alter his style. "I won't change at all," Gerrard said.
"I'm in this position because managers see I'm a good captain.
"I feel as if I've got the respect of players. I'm going to use the captaincy as a positive rather than a negative."