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England manager Fabio Capello has praised Steven Gerrard for being his own harshest critic regarding his disappointing performances for his country in recent years...

The Liverpool captain's consistently indifferent showings for England were a source of intense debate during the build-up to Wednesday's World Cup qualifier against Belarus.

While Frank Lampard had been the media's scapegoat for so many years, the Chelsea midfielder's improved displays for the Three Lions meant many pundits were calling for Gerrard to get the chop.

The Mersey maestro refused to hide from his critics, however, openly admitting that his international record was not up to snuff and that he was desperate to correct the situation.

Capello's decision to persist with the 28-year-old in Minsk was rewarded with a sensational 30-yard strike as England romped to their fourth consecutive victory.

And the Italian coach said in The Sun: "It is important that one player is willing to say that and be critical about himself.

"I remember a lot of players who criticise the managers and the coaches. You need players with humility and I think he has that.

"It is about respect for other players and for managers."

Leslie May

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