London, Feb. 28 (ANI): Newly appointed England skipper Steven Gerrard has said that while the circumstances under which he was chosen captain might be tumultuous, he has got rid of his fears under boss Fabio Capello.
"I can certainly say I experienced fear when I went out to perform. The pressure from supporters always transmitted itself on to the pitch," News of the World quoted Gerrard, as saying.
"There was a lot of fear out there, it was difficult to play and we made hard work out of the fixtures we should have won. Fabio Capello has got rid of all that. The shackles are off and we play without fear now," he added.
Gerrard will lead England for the friendly against Egypt in front of 70,000 supporters, puffing out his chest as the World Cup countdown begins.
Gerrard is stepping up after John Terry and the injured Ferdinand stepped down, the natural replacement.
He is a changed man, readily admitting there were times when he was scared to put a foot wrong, suffering under the scrutiny and expectation of wearing the England shirt.
Gerrard has adapted to his role on the left, scoring three times as England marched through their World Cup qualifying campaign. And he gives all the credit to his Italian boss.
"He has given me some freedom on the left to go and express myself. He has helped me positionally and tactically too. The main thing I've noticed now is that when I go out there I really believe in myself. The fear has gone," he insists.
The Liverpool midfielder caught Capello's eye long before he took the job, with the Italian captivated by Gerrard's inspirational performance in the 2005 Champions League final against AC Milan. (ANI)