Gerrard rejects Vieira's claims
England captain Steven Gerrard has rejected Patrick Vieira's claim that young English players lack the hunger to play for their country.
Former France international Vieira claimed last week that Three Lions' youngsters did not care enough about playing for their country.
However Gerrard, who will lead England out against Poland on Tuesday night in Warsaw after serving a suspension, has dismissed the claims of Vieira, saying he was surprised by his comments and that from his own experience at Liverpool the young players are committed to playing for their country.
"I don't really care what Patrick Vieira says," Gerrard said. "It surprised me to read that. The impression I get from young players at Liverpool is that they're desperate to get into this set-up.
"You can see in their faces that, when they're left out, it has disappointed them. The young players are hungry."
Gerrard believes the emergence of Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley means that the young talent is starting to coming through now to the senior squad.
"Maybe, in the past, there weren't youngsters coming through to challenge but the proof's there now," added Gerrard. "The likes of Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck are pushing for regular starts in this team, and we, as senior players, are aware of that.
"It keeps everyone on their toes and will raise performances, individually and collectively. I didn't really know it would happen like this after the Euros, when we were looking to move forward and strengthen. It's important not to get carried away with these youngsters - there's a long way to go. But there's talent there to give us real optimism for the future."
Gerrard, meanwhile, has admitted there is no excuse for bad behaviour after the introduction of the new Football Association code of conduct.
Gerrard and his team-mates were handed the document during a team meeting at St George's Park last week just days after Ashley Cole's and Ryan Bertrand's Twitter rows.
Liverpool midfielder Gerrard now admits all the players know their responsibilities on and off the pitch when representing their country.
"We had a meeting at St George's Park last week and now have the code of conduct in writing," said Gerrard.
"We know we have to behave and there's no excuse any more.
"We've not spoken about it (as a group). It's common sense.
"It's important we do behave away from the pitch."