CAPTAIN Steven Gerrard insists he still has "a few chapters" left in his international career as he prepares to join a select band to win a century of England caps tonight against Sweden.
The Liverpool midfielder has not given up on lifting silverware with Roy Hodgson's side, although he admits he considered quitting the national team earlier this year following Euro 2012.
Gerrard will be 34 when the 2014 World Cup kicks off in Brazil, but he believes emerging talents such as Jack Wilshere, Raheem Sterling and Wilfried Zaha can help him fulfil his dream of England glory.
"My England journey has been full of ups and downs, probably the same as a few other England players as well. I still feel there are a few chapters to write. I don't feel as if I'm coming to the end," he said.
"After the [Euro 2012] tournament, at 32, it crosses your mind: do you stop playing and give up? But I'm not a quitter, I'm a fighter, and if you stay in there and keep fighting, success can happen. The young players are one of the main reasons I want to stick around. You talk about Wilshere, Zaha, Sterling, and I can go on and name many more. These young players, and how good they are, they can help me achieve that success."
Liverpool forward Sterling, Everton midfielder Leon Osman and Tottenham centre-back Steven Caulker are set to make their England debuts after Hodgson named the starting XI last night.
Gerrard has shaken off a knee problem to lead the side in the Stockholm friendly, where he is set to become only the sixth Englishman to win 100 caps, but he is adamant he is not chasing David Beckham's outfield record of 115. "It is not really important to me if I beat David's record or not," Gerrard added. "My main focus is to get this team to qualify for the next big tournament."
Joe Hart (Manchester City)
Glen Johnson (Liverpool)
Steven Caulker (Tottenham)
Gary Cahill (Chelsea)
Leighton Baines (Everton)
Leon Osman (Everton)
Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)
Ashley Young (Manchester United)
Tom Cleverley (Manchester United)
Raheem Sterling (Liverpool)
Danny Welbeck (Manchester United)