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The 32-year-old has conceded that the Three Lions face an uphill battle to reach Brazil 2014 but says he is surprised at the level of criticism following the Montenegro draw

England skipper Steven Gerrard has said that his side have a big mountain to climb if they are to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, though was surprised by the criticism levelled at the team after the draw with Montenegro.

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The Three Lions sit two points adrift of the Group H leaders following the 1-1 stalemate in Podgorica on March 26 with four matches left to play in the campaign, and risk missing out on automatic qualification.

Roy Hodgson's side have faced increasing criticism as a result, but Liverpool midfielder Gerrard believes the quality of the Montenegro side has been underplayed and remains focussed on qualifying for Brazil.

"We've got a really big challenge ahead of us. We want to be there," Gerrard told BBC Sport.

"Montenegro are going to be competing to win the group with us, so the bit of stick we've had since that result surprised me."

However, Gerrard also admitted that there is a great deal of pressure on England and is worried that fear of failing to qualify could overawe some of the Three Lions squad.

"It's daunting if you fear the challenge," the 32-year-old continued.

"If you start worrying and concern yourself with not qualifying, it is daunting, there's no getting away from it."

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