Despite being taken off at the half by Roy Hodgson as England cruised to a 5-0 win over Moldova, Steven Gerrard today insisted it was only a precautionary move with the match already in hand and England's manager looking to keep his captain fresh for Tuesday's game against Ukraine.
"There are no problems at all," said Gerrard, "I'm fit and fine. I think when you come up against nations like this, ideally you want to finish the game by half-time. Sometimes they make it difficult and put a lot of men behind the ball but I thought we pressed them really high, won the ball high up and we were lethal in front of goal."
Hodgson may only have been thinking of Tuesday's tougher opponent when he brought Gerrard off, but with an important visit to Sunderland for Liverpool coming up next weekend the unexpectedly early end to his day against Moldova could prove as beneficial for his club as for England.