Steven Gerrard focused on England not Liverpool

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England midfielder Steven Gerrard insists he is putting his Liverpool future on hold until after the World Cup.

His mind has been frazzled before, stick or twist when José Mourinho's Chelsea pursued him throughout Euro 2004. And the same thing happened again two years later when the London club renewed attempts to prise him away from Anfield.

Gerrard could not cope, pacing his hotel room, reading national newspapers and scanning the internet for updates on a move south to Stamford Bridge.

He was pre-occupied, full of anxiety at a time when all his efforts should have been applied to making England great again.

"There has been speculation about my future for the last two or three months, but it seems to have been that way for many years before that," he said.

"I fell into the trap four years ago – in the last World Cup, where I was driving myself mad thinking about my future.

"I used to go back to my room and read the papers and go on the internet, and then I would speak to people at home who were telling me that there was stuff going on.

"Every time I went back to my room I was going mad thinking about whether I should go to Chelsea or not. Mentally it might have drained me.

"I don't know for certain if it did or not but I'm not taking any chances this time. I won't be making that mistake again.

"This time I'm determined to put all my energy into playing for England."

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