Andy Carroll has taken a bit of stick this season but came in against Sweden and scored a fine goal. You must be pleased for him?
Of course, I am over the moon for him. I have been working with him for a while at Liverpool and he was getting some undeserved criticism I think, because it is difficult when you go to a new club and it is hard to settle in as it is. But obviously with a big price tag people expect him to score goals straight away and it is not always that easy. I think the last couple of months for Liverpool he has been arguably one of our best players, hence why he got into the England squad, and if he keeps doing things like he did against Sweden, I am sure he will prove a lot of people wrong.
Do you think that goal can be the platform for him to now go and take this tournament by storm?
I think so, yeah. Whenever he gets in those positions, with the balls we have got from Stevie [Gerrard] and people that can deliver, he is going to petrify any centre-half. I think he can go on and do well.
Do you have to mark him in training? What’s he like to play against?
Not really as a full-back, but the odd time you get stranded in there. Obviously if it is a 50-50 in the air then he is going to beat me every time. I just have to use my body a bit more and be clever, bump him and whatnot.
It was a great header. In fact all three goals were excellent…
We have got a fantastic squad. A lot of players are playing at the highest level, week, week out for their clubs and I have been seeing them do it in training every day so it is not much of a surprise.
You must all be delighted with the result against Sweden? What about the nature of the performance?
Any game you win is a good result so we are happy. I am sure it was nerve-wracking for any England fan to watch but I am sure everyone will be buzzing now that we have the three points. As long as you get the three points it doesn’t really matter how you do it, as long as you do.
It was quite a contrast to the France game, wasn’t it?
Yes, definitely. Every game is going to be different and test you in different ways, but the lads showed great character to dig in and get the result we needed.
There has been a bit of talk about England being defensive but against Sweden Andy Carroll started up front, Theo Walcott came off the bench and had a big impact and Wayne Rooney is coming back. Do you think the analysis of England as a defensive team has been unfair?
I think so. We were playing one of the best teams in the tournament in France so we couldn’t go all out attacking otherwise we would have been punished. You have to change your tactics depending on who you are playing, you know? Obviously we had respect for France and we defended a bit more than we did against Sweden, but if we had gone attacking and had lost the game, you would be saying that we should have gone defensive. But I think we have got our tactics right in both games.
What kind of approach do you think we can expect against Ukraine?
Well, like I say, we will have to sit down and watch their videos and take it from there and I am sure Roy will come up trumps again.
Is it a process of constant improvement? Obviously Roy came in quite late and you are still getting used to the system and each other…
Definitely. Like you say, Roy came in about four weeks before the tournament started and that is not long for any manager to lay down all their laws and how they want to play, but he is putting his points across relatively quickly and the boys are adapting quickly.
What do you think about Wayne Rooney. Will his return make you stronger?
Of course. Any time a player like Wayne Rooney comes back into the team it is going to make the side stronger, but we have got fantastic players and I am sure they will come good for us.
Is it important that you don’t have to win against Ukraine now?
Yes. Every game we go into obviously we try and win but yeah, needing a point is better than needing a win, of course.
What have you made of Ukraine so far? Have you seen much of them play?
No, not yet. First we were concentrating on France, then Sweden and now obviously we will wake up and we will concentrate on Ukraine.
Are you afraid of the good form of Andriy Shevchenko?
We are not afraid of anything. Obviously Shevchenko has been a great player for years and we know they are going to have some dangerous players.
Do you remember Andriy Voronin?
Yeah, of course. (Laughs)
Why are you smiling?
He is a good man, he is a funny man. (Laughs)