Sat, Nov 24, 2007 - Page 19 News List

England stars look to put Wembley woes behind them

AFP , LONDON

England goalkeeper Scott Carson will be trying to forget his Wembley nightmare against Croatia on Wednedsday as he returns to Premier League action today.

PHOTO: AP

England's stars return to Premier League action this weekend hoping to erase the painful memories of their Euro 2008 elimination.

Just four days after being booed off by furious fans at Wembley following their defeat by Croatia, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Scott Carson and company are thrust into action for their clubs.

Once again the majority of the team failed to reproduce their club form for England and they face a backlash from fans fed up with their lackluster performances.

So it will be with some relief that they concentrate on domestic issues for several months. Liverpool midfielder Gerrard, who captained England on Wednesday, admits his club's trip to Newcastle today presents the ideal opportunity to restore his flagging morale.

"From an England point of view it's really disappointing and it will be difficult for a while, particularly watching the tournament next summer," Gerrard said.

"But I'm experienced enough to know I have to get it out of my system as soon as possible, I have massive games to play for Liverpool between now and the end of the season," he said. "That's down to me. If I were to feel sorry for myself and it affects my performances for Liverpool, then it wouldn't be fair on Liverpool."

Villa goalkeeper Carson suffered a miserable night with England as his errors contributed to their defeat and he will endure a severe test of his confidence at Middlesbrough.

With England cast into the international wilderness, it's fortunate that the race for the Premier League title promises to be one of the exciting in recent years.

Manchester United will try to keep up the pressure on leaders Arsenal by winning their 10th league match in 11 attempts when they travel to struggling Bolton.

Sir Alex Ferguson gave United an injection of young blood when he signed Nani, Anderson and Carlos Tevez in the close season and veteran midfielder Ryan Giggs is convinced their enthusiasm can help see off Arsenal and retain the title.

"When you come into training and you're up against young, quality players it's a test every day," he said. "That only helps to bring your game on. There's so much enthusiasm amongst the lads and it's a great place to be at the moment."

Arsenal are set to be without injured winger Alexander Hleb when they face Wigan at the Emirates Stadium.

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