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Gerrard to practise penalties ahead of World Cup

England's Steven Gerrard will be attempting to avoid a repeat of 2006 by practising penalties ahead of this summer's World Cup. Gerrard, along with Frank Lampard and Jamie Carragher, missed in the Gelsenkirchen shoot-out against Portugal as England crashed out at the quarter-final stage in Germany four years ago.

After losing on penalties in major tournaments in 1990, 1996, 1998, 2004 and 2006, Gerrard wants to make sure England will succeed if matches go the distance in South Africa.

"I think, having missed the penalty, I'll probably be a bit more composed next time and take my time a bit more," Gerrard said.

"I'll work that little bit harder in training to make sure I know what I'm going to be doing. It all happened really fast in 2006 and I felt after the penalties that I should have taken my time more.

"It is massive pressure but that's what we've got to do, we've got to try and handle that pressure. I didn't handle it in 2006, so, if I'm put in that situation again, I will try and deal with the pressure a lot better.

"But it's difficult, it's not like taking a normal penalty in practice - you've got so much responsibility. You know all the fans back home are watching and, when you're tired, when you're under so much pressure, that's when mistakes happen and that's what happened to me in 2006."

Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce, who is in the backroom staff of the seniors, makes his youngsters take penalties after every training session.

For more World Cup news, go to www.worldcup.tribalfootball.com

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