Terry 'fantastic' - Gerrard

Liverpool ace praises character of England skipper

Steven Gerrard hailed the "fantastic character" of John Terry as he bounced back from his UEFA Champions League misery to help England to victory against the USA.

Terry had been in the depths of despair after missing the spot-kick for Chelsea which would have given them victory over Manchester United in the final in Moscow.

Terry had already received a 'pick-me-up' by reclaiming the captaincy and he followed it up by scoring the opening goal in England's 2-0 success.

Gerrard, who added the second, said: "I am so pleased for John Terry. He is a top guy off the pitch and also a great player on it. He is a fantastic footballer.

"Unfortunately for him, he suffered a big low in his career with what happened in Moscow last week.

"But we always knew he was going to bounce back. That is the type of fantastic character that he is.


"He showed once again that he is a fantastic leader. He has done it so many times."

Gerrard believes England are starting to make progress under Fabio Capello but is aware there is still much work to be done before they are at the level they want to be.

The Liverpool skipper added: "This was another step in the right direction. We are pleased with the win and we have a clean sheet. We are getting a bit more used to the new set-up.

"We are certainly on the right path but there is still a long way to go to get to the level we want to perform at."

Gerrard insists England have to forget the disappointment of failing to qualify for Euro 2008 and concentrate on mounting a strong World Cup qualifying campaign.

He said: "Not going to the Euro finals has been hitting home for a long time, ever since we failed to qualify.

"We are going to have to suffer that disappointment throughout the summer. We all wanted to be part of the finals and challenging to win the tournament.

"But we've got to prepare for the World Cup qualifiers. We have to put the disappointment we are feeling about this summer to the back of our minds."