Poland 1 England 1: Steven Gerrard disappointed with below-par display
Poland 1 England 1: Captain Steven Gerrard admits his disappointment at the Three Lions' failure to pick up a win
Steven Gerrard could not hide his disappointment after an unconvincing England were pegged back and held to a draw in Poland on Wednesday.
The match was rearranged following Tuesday’s heavy rain in Warsaw and Wayne Rooney nodded the visitors into the lead after 31 minutes, when he guided Gerrard’s corner past Przemyslaw Tyton and into the net.
But Poland fought back and levelled 20 minutes from time as Kamil Glik headed home from a corner after Joe Hart rushed off his line and failed to collect Ludovic Obraniak’s set-piece.
The point keeps England top of Group H after having claimed eight points from their opening four games ahead of their next World Cup qualifier in San Marino in March.
“It’s a decent point but the lads are slightly disappointed,” Gerrard told ITV. “We know we can play better than that.
“Especially after taking the lead, we should have seen the game out and taken three points but it wasn’t to be. I believe this point will be a good one at the end of the day but we’ll have to wait and see.
“We’re disappointed not to take three points today so our points tally could be a lot better. This is a tough place to come; the conditions, the pitch.
“I thought they handled the pitch a bit better than us today and that’s the disappointing thing.
“But we’re not going to grumble after taking a point away from here because I don’t think anyone in the group will come here and take maximum points.”
Meanwhile, Hart accepted he was at fault for the home side’s leveller after failing to deal with Obraniak’s corner.
“I came, I didn’t get there and he’s done a good header,” he said. “It was my fault, I probably should have punched it or stayed in my goal – I didn’t do either and they scored.
“I’m gutted that that’s cost us the three points because I couldn’t see them scoring any other way.
“I think they played well today but at the same time they were knocking on a door that wasn’t going to open.”
Hart added: “We’ve got to believe it’s a good point. It’s a tough place to come. The fans were outstanding staying that extra day for us and we appreciate that, it’s just a shame we couldn’t give them three points.”
Manager Hodgson admitted it was a below-par display from his side but was ultimately pleased to leave Warsaw with a point.
“I don’t think it was one of our better performances if I’m to be honest and the players are disappointed,” he said.
“I think there are lots of factors that need to be taken into consideration. The pitch was quite difficult, it was soggy and the ball wasn’t moving that well.
“It was a pitch really more suited to long-ball game than a passing game. And also, the extra 36 hours spent in a hotel waiting to play the game – it definitely didn’t do us any favours.
“I’m pleased with a point because I don’t think we played well enough today to get the three points. When the group is decided next October we might find that this was an important point.”