Gerrard upbeat on England qualifying hopes despite 'disappointing' Ukraine draw

The Liverpool skipper was disheartened with his late dismissal but remains happy with his performance and confident that the Three Lions will finish top of Group H
Steven Gerrard insists that England have what it takes to win their World Cup 2014 qualifying group despite a disappointing 1-1 draw against Ukraine at Wembley on Tuesday evening.

The 32-year-old saw red for the first time in his England career after receiving his second booking in the closing stages.

And the Liverpool captain's sending-off was not the only foul that drew heavy criticism of Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir, who booked eight other players.

"I don't think there was a bad tackle in the game, was there? And I think the referee's given seven yellow cards," Gerrard told the Daily Mail.

7/2 Ukraine are 7/2 with William Hill to beat England to top spot in Group H of Europe's World Cup qualifiers
"So, it's disappointing for me because it's a red card - my first one in 98 caps.

"But we play San Marino next. I'm sure the boys can do the job without me and then I'll be available for Poland. I'm gutted over the red, but happy with my performance."

Gerrard admits that he was disappointed with dropping two points from a match England in which produced enough chances to win but insists that he was pleased with the players' character.

He added: "We wanted to win this game tonight. We're at home with our crowd behind us, so we're disappointed not to get the three points.

"Having gone a goal down, I think we showed fantastic character and determination. We kept probing for the openings and, when the subs came on, I thought we created more chances.

"I thought we thoroughly deserved the point, if not a bit more on chances."

It was another close game between the two sides who also met at Euro 2012, and Gerrard feels Ukraine will be England's biggest rivals for supremacy in Group H.

"I think you've got to give them credit," he admitted. "They're a fantastic team and I think it's going to be between us two who tops this group. That's my prediction.

"I thought in general play, we controlled it. We looked the side who wanted to create all the openings and I think we'll probably have a better chance of beating them away because they'll have to come out and take more risks.

"But, credit to them, they've come to Wembley and they've taken two points off us."

Gerrard reserved special praise for midfield compatriot Frank Lampard, who scored his 26th goal for his country with an 87th-minute penalty to earn a share of the spoils.
"He's got a good record as far as penalties are concerned," he continued. "I think that's his eighth or ninth penalty now. So, we rely on him and he's done the job again for us tonight."