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England captain Steven Gerrard hails victory over Bulgaria as a signal of intent

England captain Steven Gerrard maintains that the misfortune of the World Cup has still not subsided but hailed the rousing 4-0 win over Bulgaria as a “statement” of intent for the Euro 2012 Championship.

The result was England's biggest victory since the 5-1 dismantling of Croatia a year earlier.
 
Gerrard told Sky Sports: "We've made a statement. I've said, after the disappointment of the World Cup, it's going to take time before this team can be really ready to challenge the big sides."

The game also saw a return to sorts for Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney. Despite not getting on the scoresheet Rooney played a part in all four of England’s goals. With Jermain Defoe grabbing the headlines after his impressive hat-trick, Gerrard was quick to switch some of the spotlight back to his fellow Liverpudlian Rooney for his contribution to the game.

"Wayne [Rooney] got all the assists, so I think the partnership worked - that was the key," he added.

"From front to back, we were superb all over the pitch."

Yet the signs of a complete recovery of the national side were still not clear, as Bulgaria managed to cut open England’s defence on more than one occasion which still looked as if it might be vulnerable against better opposition.

Gerrard added: "The important thing now is not to get carried away and try to build on that.

"Tuesday's going to be even more difficult. It's a tough game away from home. They're a good team, Switzerland.

"Hopefully, that will breed a bit of confidence."

England travel to Basle to take on Switzerland, whose defeat of Spain at the World Cup is still fresh in the England skipper's mind and he knows they face a tough test when they face up against them next month.

"Internationals away from home are always going to be difficult," he said.

"Switzerland showed in the World Cup what a good side they are by beating Spain.

"So we'll have to perform to the same level as we did if we want that result."

Fabio Capello will have to make do without Tottenham defender Michael Dawson for the clash after he was sent back to Spurs after sustaining a knee injury during the Bulgaria game.

"We're concerned. He's got to have a scan in the next couple of days,” said Gerrard. "Fingers crossed it's not too bad."

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