World Cup - Gerrard: I don't care about Vieira

England captain Steven Gerrard says he "doesn't care" about Patrick Vieira's claims that young English players don't love playing for the national side.

PA Sport
World Cup - Gerrard: I don't care about Vieira

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England's players, led by captain Steven Gerrard, in training soon after receiving the new code of conduct

Vieira recently expressed his surprise at seeing young players withdrawing from England squads due to injury, claiming a "lack of love" was the reason.

However, Gerrard disagrees with Manchester City's football development executive.

"It surprised me to read that," said Gerrard. "I don't really care what Vieira says. The young players are hungry."

He added: "The impression I get from young players at Liverpool is that they are desperate to get into this set-up. This is what I notice and you can see it in their faces that it disappoints them when they are left out."

Meanwhile, Gerrard has admitted there is no excuse for bad behaviour following the introduction of the new Football Association code of conduct.

Gerrard and his team-mates were handed the document during a team meeting at St George's Park last Monday. FA chairman David Bernstein was anxious to point out last week it had not been pushed through as a result of Ashley Cole's latest transgression and the process had been under way since the start of the year. Since then, Ryan Bertrand has been drawn into a Twitter row that forced him into an apology.

However, in theory, Gerrard feels the England players now know where they stand. "We had a meeting at St George's Park last week and now have the code of conduct in writing," said Gerrard.

He added: "We know we have to behave and there's no excuse any more. We've not spoken about it (as a group). It's common sense.

"It's important we do behave away from the pitch."

After a year when a consistent thread running through England gatherings has been player discipline of varying kinds, Gerrard feels it is time to get the focus back on the football.

"It is critical," said Gerrard.

"These games and these get-togethers are very important and we'd rather be sitting here answering questions about football."

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