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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Steven Gerrard backs FA to make hire to bring England to 'next level'

Steven Gerrard says he believes the Football Association will "get it right" in hiring Roy Hodgson's successor as England manager.

Hodgson stepped down immediately following England's shocking defeat to Iceland in the Euro 2016 round of 16, and the FA have outlined its search plan for his replacement.

Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce has emerged as the leading contender after being cleared to interview for the position.

And Gerrard, the former England captain who now plays for the LA Galaxy, said the poor performance in France will spur the FA into making a decision that will reinvigorate the team.

"I was disappointed in [England's exit], if I'm truthful, because I had high expectations," Gerrard told virtual reality company Laduma. "Through the qualifying they performed really, really well, they looked solid, they put in some terrific performances and going into the tournament I fancied them to at least get to the last eight and also have a push to the last four.

"I had that confidence; they started reasonably well, they came out of the blocks really strong against Russia. They just never got the results, and never performed to what they are capable of.

Steven Gerrard
Steven Gerrard has backed the FA to make a good choice to replace Roy Hodgson.

"I think everyone's sort of healing from the disappointment of the tournament, but what I can say is the FA and the payers and the new staff coming in will get it right.

"It will improve and it won't be too long before the fans are smiling again, that's what I believe. I believe in looking forward and trying to improve things and I've got every confidence that everyone involved trying to make it improve will make that happen.

"There's a huge fear in amongst the group at the moment. The expectations are very, very high. It's a very pressured situation to be a England player. The media coverage is huge, the expectation is huge and there's a very young set of players there who are not used to that pressure, but they will be used to it in years to come.

"This experience and this hurt, I think, will help all our players moving forward because they won't want to experience it again

"They will want to improve and get better, and I think with the right manager and the right coaching staff around this group, they can take it to the next level."

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