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Gerrard makes family sacrifice for World Cup

ESPN staff
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Steven Gerrard has revealed how sports psychiatrist Dr Steve Peters helped him improve his mental strength © Getty Images
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Steven Gerrard has revealed he will not be taking his family to South America this summer as he plans to avoid any distractions from England's World Cup campaign in Brazil.

England manager Roy Hodgson has confirmed that wives and girlfriends will be invited to the latter part of his squad's pre-tournament training camp in Miami, but said the players could decide whether their respective families would join them in South America.

Gerrard admitted the presence of England "WAGs" at the 2006 World Cup proved a hindrance, and was why he chose not to invite his family to South Africa four years later. It may not have been a winning formula in terms of results, but it worked for Gerrard and he's sticking with it.

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"I thought it was bit of a distraction [2006], so in 2010 when I set off for the World Cup in South Africa I preferred for my family to be away from me and I could focus on trying to get my form right," Gerrard told the Liverpool Echo. "So I will be doing the same again in Brazil.

"Usually the day you get to see them is a day after a game - and that is when you are at your most tired.

"The last thing I want to be doing is getting dragged here, there and everywhere by three young girls - which is not their fault, but I have to sacrifice that side of it for hopefully six weeks or eight weeks and hopefully get the rewards."

While Gerrard will not be joined by his family in Brazil, he will be reunited with sports psychiatrist Dr Steve Peters, who will travel with the squad following his success in working with Gerrard's Liverpool team-mates.

He admitted Peters has helped him develop extra mental strength to cope with off-field pressures - and hopes the psychologist can have the same effect on the rest of the squad.

"When you get introduced to these people, if you feel they are good and helping you, why not use their services," Gerrard said.

"I feel it gives me that couple of percent I need when I go into these big games or intimidating atmospheres - especially if I've got a couple of things on my mind off the pitch. But a lot of players don't like it.

"Maybe they are scared to try it, scared it will open a can of worms, or maybe they are on a level where they are mentally strong and don't suffer emotionally at times.

"For me I am very strong mentally when it comes to football, but I'm sensitive and emotional away from the game."

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