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The Three Lions captain has rubbished suggestions players have no pride when playing for their country, insisting the whole squad is desperate for international glory

Steven Gerrard has dismissed accusations that players do not care enough when playing for England ahead of this week’s crucial World Cup qualifiers.

Following their turgid 0-0 draw away to Ukraine last month, Roy Hodgson's men were criticised by many for their lack of ambition to try and win the match, instead settling for a point.

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England must now win their last two qualifiers at Wembley against Montenegro and Poland to book their place at this summer’s World Cup in Brazil, and Gerrard insists the players determined to avoid a repeat of their Euro 2008 qualification disaster.

“The pain and the agony. How long that lasted after we didn’t qualify for Euro 2008. I wish you could bottle that and show it to people who say those things and doubt how much we care,” Gerrard told the Daily Mirror.

“We care. Trust me, we care. No one cares more than the players.

“It’s a shame the supporters and certain people can’t go into the dressing room and see how we prepare and how much we want this.

“Nobody is forced to play for England. You play because you want to, because you’re desperate to, because it’s what you dreamed of from an early age.

“When you win for England, play well, get on the score-sheet or achieve something together, there’s no better buzz.”

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