Gerrard delays decision as he is ‘still hurting very bad’

England's Steven Gerrard
England's Steven Gerrard
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England captain Steven Gerrard insists he needs time before making a decision over his international future.

The Liverpool midfielder, 34, will mull over whether to announce his international retirement after Roy Hodgson’s side were eliminated from the World Cup at the group stage.

He said: “There’s no truth that I’ll be making any announcement within a week. I think I need more time. I am still hurting very bad. I’m broken from what’s gone on over the last couple of weeks. I need to clear my head before I make that big decision.”

Asked if he had a hunch what his decision would be, Gerrard said: “Not at the moment, I need time.

“I’ve agreed with the manager I’m going to speak to him in a few weeks’ time.”

In light of comments made by Harry Redknapp – who revealed that while manager of Tottenham, several of his players sought to actively avoid playing for England – Gerrard said that he had never encountered anyone who wanted unnecessarily to pull out of international duty.

QPR boss Redknapp said: “I can tell you when I was at Tottenham, when full internationals came around, there were two or three players who did not want to play for England. They would come to me 10 days before the game and say, ‘Gaffer, get me out of that game, I don’t want to play in that game’. That was how it was. I’d say, ‘you’re playing for your country, you should want to play’.

“(They would say) ‘Nah, my girlfriend is having a baby in four weeks, I don’t want to play’ and that is the truth, so it makes you wonder.

“I think it’s only going to get worse. You see the stick the England players get and they come home, they’re earning fantastic money at their clubs, they’re all playing in the Champions League. They think, ‘Do we need the aggro?’”

“They must be players who Harry Redknapp knows, I’ve never come across players like that, certainly the group that I’m surrounded by,” said Gerrard.

He admitted the mood in the camp was grim, but was keen to stress that they took full responsibility for their failure.

“It’s a difficult time to be an England player at the moment, everyone’s hurt, everyone’s disappointed,” he added.

“My message to the supporters is thanks for the support that they’ve given us, not just at the World Cup, but over the last two years for helping us get here.

“The players take full responsibility for not winning the two games so far.

“If there’re people out there with strong opinions and (who) want to point fingers, we take full responsibility and take it on the shoulders.

“But all we can do as players is stick together.

“We have to shoulder that responsibility together.

“We can’t allow it to just go on the manager’s shoulders and the coaching staff, we have to stand tall, be thick skinned, take it and move on.

“The important thing is to think about the supporters and the supporters only.

“They want to win in the last game and the players want that as well.”