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The 33-year-old claims Roy Hodgson's team are not as weak as people think and believes the players can make the nation proud at next summer's World Cup in Brazil

Steven Gerrard has warned against writing off England's World Cup hopes and insists Roy Hodgson's men can cause a surprise in Brazil next summer.

As the Three Lions prepare for two crucial qualifying matches against Moldova and Ukraine, FA chairman Greg Dyke claimed on Wednesday that they stand little chance of winning the tournament - should they qualify.

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But Gerrard believes the team is good enough to go to the World Cup and make the nation proud - though he insists the players are fully focused on achieving qualification first.

"I don't think we're as weak as has been suggested," the England captain told reporters.

"Realistically, everyone in the room knows we're not going to be one of the bookies' favourites to win the World Cup.

"It doesn't mean we can't get there and have a successful tournament to make the country proud. But we don't want to get ahead of ourselves. Our priority is to get there first.

"To qualify is the challenge. We want to qualify for the World Cup, go there and make the nation proud. We can do that without winning it.

"Playing at a World Cup is the pinnacle of any footballer's dream as a kid - especially in Brazil."

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