Gerrard brushes off injury fears

The England skipper insists it was always the plan for him to be substituted at half-time against Norway, and that he is fit and ready to lead the Three Lions at Euro 2012
Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard has insisted he is fully fit, despite playing just 45 minutes for the national team in Saturday's 1-0 win over Norway in Olso.

Gerrard has struggled with injury all season, missing large chunks of Liverpool’s disappointing campaign, and when he failed to emerge for the second period, it was feared he may have suffered another problem.

However, the skipper explained it was a pre-meditated plan with new England boss Roy Hodgson to prevent him picking up any knocks.

"It was always the plan for me to play 45 minutes. I had a bit of a tight hamstring towards the end of the season," the 31-year-old said.
Hodgson impressed by England's discipline

"I missed a couple of games towards the end. But I'm fine, I've come through 45 minutes and I'm raring to go next week."

The England captain was delighted by the performance of his side, and in particular Manchester United forward Ashley Young, who scored the only goal of the contest.

It was Young's fourth strike in as many games for the national side, and the skipper was impressed with his link-up play with striker Andy Carroll.

"We are really pleased with Ashley's performance and I thought him and Andy look decent together," Gerrard said.

"Ashley is a good player and when he plays that withdrawn role off the front man and gets in between the lines, he is very dangerous and skillful.

"Opposing defenders and midfielders don't know how to pick him up because he finds the space so well.

"He is in good form for England and is scoring a lot of goals at the right time with the Euros coming up."