England's players reaction
UEFA Euro 2012: Poland & Ukraine
Group D: England 1-0 Ukraine

 

 


England captain & Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard:  "We came into this group, a difficult group, and the idea was to try and win it. No one believed in us at the start, but we're gaining momentum as we go along which is worrying for the other teams. The performance wasn't fantastic but we worked hard and got the result- you cannot fault the commitment of any of the lads who play for England. It is an absolute honour and privelege to represent your country in any match or sport- to captain the side is something I take pride from. Wayne Rooney's goal was a tap-in but if he keeps scoring tap-ins for us, we'll go a long way. He is important to the team and the nation- he is world class and we are glad to see him back in the side. He wasn't at his best but when you take into consideration that he hasn't played fully for a month it is completely understandable. We found a better level of performance in the second half. We have been criticised in the past, we can take that but you've seen the reaction from the lads. We were disappointing mainly in the second half against Sweden and the lads wanted to put it right tonight. It is not nice to be criticised but you need to respond positively. We'll take each game as it comes which is an old cliche but we are not looking any further than the quarter-final. The Italians are next, they're very strong defensively. You need a bit of luck to do well in these competitions. Let's hope we get a bit more along the way." 

 

 


England & Manchester City midfielder James Milner:  "We knew it was a tough group – playing one of the host nations is always difficult and Sweden have shown what a strong team they are, especially tonight – but to come through it and finish top is pleasing. We've got a great bunch of players, we work very hard together, we're very well organised. We haven't been together that long as a squad or under a new manager so it is pleasing we are improving and the more time we spend together we will get stronger and stronger.  It was a good performance, in the first half they put us under a lot of pressure and had the crowd behind them, they're a good team but we managed to stay compact and restrict them to long-range efforts really and create chances for ourselves in the second half. We've listened to the support of these magnificent people today, the brilliant people at home have wished us well and we're just really proud. Wayne Rooney returned and scored a goal like Wayne Rooney does, because that's the type of player he is. We can achieve what we came here to achieve, you know – we came to win games. France was a tough start, yet we felt we could've won it; now we've won these last two games."

 

 


England & Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott:  "We know Wayne (Rooney) is an outstanding talent and one of the best in the world in his position, so we were always going to have a chance with him in the team, and I think that Steven Gerrard's performance tonight again showed what a world-class player he is. These are players who have been the best in the Premier League for years- the best league iin the world. Stevie's one of those players that you can look up to, and look at his performances and try and gain something from them, the way he goes about his business, so we know that at any given stage players like that can create something. The performance tonight wasn't our best which was a surprise considering how well we can play and how much we were looking forward to the game. I haven't had a chance to see the incident for their alleged goal on replay but it was close from where I was stood on the pitch. The goal wasn't the best Wayne has scored but every goal counts and it has got us an important three points. It's nice to get to the knockout stages of the tournament, but we're not thinking now we've done our bit and got out of the group stage, we want to continue to progress and get as far as we can in this. We are not thinking about anything other than the quarter-final against Italy."



Click here to read the full manager's comments from England's 1-0 win over Ukraine

 

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