Gerrard optimistic of England success

Gerrard endured a disappointing end to the season at club level, as Liverpool just missed out on the Premier League title to Manchester City.

However, the 33-year-old is hopeful of a more fulfilling period with the national team in Brazil, as England step up preparations ahead of their Group D campaign, which will see them face Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica.

I think (lowering expectations) can help but theres no harm in dreaming, Gerrard told Sky Sports.

Us players dream as well, you always say to yourself what if, what if it does happen and you prove all the doubters wrong and you go on to have a successful World Cup?

So theres no harm in dreaming but the reality is that there are a lot of top teams going to this World Cup. Its a very difficult competition but theres excitement and belief in the squad that we can do well.

Its for real now. Its not far away and the preparations start (Monday) when we get over to Portugal and do our first training session. Theres certainly a lot of excitement and belief in the squad.

Gerrards long-term midfield partner and vice-captain Frank Lampard added that he is buoyed by the youth in Englands squad, with the likes of Luke Shaw (18), Raheem Sterling (19) and Ross Barkley (20) all selected by manager Roy Hodgson.

Its a good squad with a mixture of youth and experience, Lampard said.

I think we were crying out a few years ago for these young boys to come through and excite us and I think theyve done that.

As an experienced, older member of the squad I do enjoy having that around, it does feel good. Hopefully they play without fear and go and play well.