Monday 16 December 2019

Steven Gerrard hails John Terry as 'fantastic player and great leader'

Giles Mole

Stand-in England captain Steven Gerrard praised the character of John Terry following boos that greeted the Chelsea defender in last night's friendly against Egypt.

A minority of supporters jeered Terry at the start of the match, but Gerrard hopes that marks the end of the dissent against the centre-back following his recent off-field problems, and he praised the way his international team-mate dealt with matters.

Gerrard said: "I thought he was superb, I thought he handled everything really well.

"He showed he's a fantastic player and a great leader."

Egypt went in at the break 1-0 ahead before a brace from Peter Crouch.

Shaun Wright-Phillips also hit the target as England recovered from a poor first-half performance to run out comfortable winners.

Gerrard put their recovery down to team spirit.

He said: "You've got to give credit to them, they played very well in the first half. We never converted chances we had. So I think we were unfortunate to come in 1-0 down.

"But we showed good character and togetherness to get back in it and go on to win it.

"We were a bit individual in the first half. But we pressed lot more in the second."

Egyptian coach Hassan Shehata admitted his side had tired badly after the interval - understandably given the effort involved in winning the recent African Cup of Nations.

"It was more like a competitive match than a friendly," said Shehata, who has guided the Egyptians to three successive African titles.

"We were in front for almost an hour but we made some mistakes and let England back into it. England had chances in the first half but did not take them, after the break they did. That was the difference.

"It was our first game after winning the African Cup of Nations and we were a bit tired in the second half. We are also preparing a new system and a new style."

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