ENGLAND captain Steven Gerrard has risked upsetting Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers on the eve of the new Premier League season by outlining his desire to play as many minutes as possible in tonight’s friendly with Scotland at Wembley.
Just three days before Liverpool take on Stoke in the opening game of the new campaign, Gerrard is poised to win his 103rd England cap against the auld enemy.
And the 33-year-old has vowed to give a characteristically full-bloodied performance at the heart of England’s midfield and will put the risk of incurring an injury to the back of his mind.
“I am sure Roy Hodgson has had a call from ever Premier League manager asking for us to play as few minutes as possibly or wanting us to come back fully fit,” he said.
“But the Premier League managers have got to understand that we’re here representing our country.
“It’s a big game and we all want to play as many minutes as possible.
“It’s a World Cup year and we’ve got four very important World Cup qualifiers not too far away.
“This is a big game against our local rivals, so it’s going off with a bang.”
Wayne Rooney is in line to start alongside Gerrard, despite lacking match fitness having missed most of Manchester United’s pre-season campaign, including Sunday’s 2-0 win over Wigan in the Community Shield, also at Wembley.
However, Gerrard revealed the Chelsea target has looked sharp in training at St. George’s Park and that a return to the pitch will be a welcome distraction from the ongoing transfer saga off it.
“It’s all about how Wayne is feeling for the game and I am sure he will sort the other stuff out,” added Gerrard. “It is the same old Wayne Rooney in training.
“He looks good, scoring goals, he is certainly ready to play. I am sure he will be itching to start.”