England fired up for Italy test

PA Sport
Roy Hodgson (left) and Steven Gerrard are desperate to avoid suffering further pain with England

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Roy Hodgson (left) and Steven Gerrard are desperate to avoid suffering further pain with England

Roy Hodgson and Steven Gerrard have issued a joint demand for England to leave the Olympic Stadium with no regrets after their Euro 2012 quarter-final with Italy.

The Three Lions are aiming to reach their first semi-final since Euro 96 but, in order to do that, England must create their own little bit of history. Away from Wembley, they have never beaten a major nation in the knock-out stages of a tournament of any significance.

Manager and skipper have both called it a 50-50 game but, with the margins so fine, they are determined nothing should be lost for lack of effort. Hodgson said: "Someone is going to lose and whoever loses is going to be very sad."

He added: "We can't do anything to change that. What we can do is make certain we have no regrets at the end of the game."

For Gerrard, the plea was even more desperate. Now 32, the England captain has spent his entire professional life being hailed as one of Europe's finest midfielders.

He has dreamt of achieving glory on the international stage, yet all it has brought him is pain and misery.

"Since I made my England debut I've dreamed of doing well in these major tournaments," said Gerrard. "Up to now that hasn't happened.

"There's another chance to do it here and, because of the hurt and pain I've been through before, I'm hoping it'll be different this time.

"I'm going to give it everything I've got to try and make it different this time. I'm sure there are a lot of players who are thinking the same thing.

"This is a fantastic moment for this team and this group of players. It's important we grasp it and we don't go home with any regrets."

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