Gerrard backs ‘scintillating’ Carroll to succeed in England’s clash with Norway

The Three Lions captain, who is teammates with the former Newcastle United striker at Liverpool, backed the 23-year-old to continue his ‘unplayable’ form through the summer

Steven Gerrard has backed Andy Carroll to maintain his “scintillating form” for England this summer.

With Danny Welbeck currently injured, the former Newcastle United forward has been picked to lead the line in the Three Lions’ friendly in Norway on Saturday night.

Gerrard told reporters on Friday of his Liverpool teammate: "I think he finished the season in scintillating form. He was unplayable for us and fantastic to see as a Liverpool player.

"I'm hoping he can continue that form for England. If he does he'll be a big bonus to this squad and defences will find it very difficult to play against Andy Carroll in this form."

Gerrard has been selected as the next permanent England captain by former Liverpool boss Hodgson and the midfielder admitted he was full of pride to be leading his countrymen.

"It was nice to be named the official England captain and it's a fresh start with a new manager so everyone's looking forward to it and [it is] really positive moving forward," he added.

“Of course, it's something I've dreamed of since I was a very young boy and I want to make the most of it.

“I want to be remembered as a successful captain. It was very difficult out in South Africa [2010 World Cup] because we never performed at a good level.”

Roy Hodgson spent half a season at Liverpool but was unable to win over the fans, but Gerrard is adamant his former club boss is an excellent manager.

“I got on fantastically well with him,” the 31-year-old revealed. “I think Roy took the Liverpool job in very difficult circumstances because the majority of our fantastic supporters really wanted Kenny to be the manager so from day one Roy had a really tough job.

“But I can assure everyone he's a really good manager, I've worked with him day in, day out and he's a winner.

“He makes his sides very difficult to beat and I'm really confident he can have a successful time as England manager.”

Expectations heading to Poland and Ukraine are unusually low for the nation but Gerrard insists that will not have an impact on his side, who will be going all out to do the best they can.

“Listen we've got to go there and give it our best,” Gerrard added. “We've got to work really hard.

“What I will tell people is you don't necessarily have to be one of the favourites and the best side in competitions to win it.

“All we can do is work as hard as we can, give it our best shot, work as hard as we can and try to perform at a better level than we did in South Africa. That's the challenge.”

Gerrard insisted he needs the likes of John Terry, Frank Lampard and Scott Parker - who skippered for caretaker manager Stuart Pearce during the interlude between permanent bosses - to help him lead the national side.

“John's a fantastic player and having him about certainly strengthens this squad,” the Reds skipper continued.

“For me as captain it's nice to have other leaders about that can help me do it - Frank Lampard, John Terry, Scott Parker - and also the addition of Gary Neville.

“It's about having a lot of leaders out there that are all working hard for the same thing, and that's to be successful for England.”

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