Steven Gerrard hailed England’s win over Belgium as the perfect dress rehearsal for their European Championship opener against France — even if it came at some cost.
Captain Gerrard was one of several walking wounded after Saturday night’s bruising 1-0 Wembley victory in the final warm-up friendly before Euro 2012.
The Liverpool star was withdrawn late on through cramp after a typical all-action display but he got off lightly compared to Gary Cahill, John Terry and Joleon Lescott.
Lescott finished yesterday’s game with a bleeding head wound bandaged up, while concerns remain over the status of Scott Parker’s Achilles.
However, Gerrard shrugged off concerns yesterday’s game had been too physical for comfort. “It’s good. It’s the test we needed,” he said. “We’ve got over a week now to dust ourselves down and recover and get ourselves ready for France.
“I think France is going to be similar. A performance like that is going to be needed, if not a little bit better.”
He added of the June 11 Group D clash in Ukraine: “We’re going to have to be very disciplined and workmanlike without the ball. “I thought we were solid (against Belgium). We restricted them to very few efforts on goal. Let’s not underestimate Belgium. Even though they’re not in this tournament, they’ll be at the next World Cup and they’ll be some team.”