Johnson singles out Gerrard
Liverpool full-back Glen Johnson believes the England captaincy has brought out the very best in his club team-mate Steven Gerrard.
Johnson has identified the Reds midfielder as his country's standout performer at Euro 2012 so far and he thinks the added responsibility of wearing the armband is driving him on.
The former Chelsea and West Ham star is now hoping he can maintain his high standards after helping England come through Group D as winners to set up a quarter-final against Italy on Sunday.
Gerrard was made full-time skipper of the national team by Roy Hodgson last month shortly after his appointment as Fabio Capello's successor.
"Steven has been a fantastic player for many, many years, but with the armband I think he feels he needs to step up just that tiny bit more, and I think he's done it more than anyone so far," Johnson told reporters at their training base in Krakow this morning.
He also spoke of the solidarity that he senses from the nation as England bid for their first semi-final appearance at a major tournament in 16 years and their prospects of going all the way.
As ever the supporters in the stadiums have been doing their best to get right behind the team, while back home ITV's coverage of the final group match against Ukraine attracted a reported peak audience of 18.5million.
Johnson added: "I've just been told about the record rating of viewers for the game, the fans are there to support and it feels like we're a big, tight unit.
"Any team in the tournament has got a chance of winning it.
"The first objective was to get out of the group, we did that very well by winning the group, so now it's a one-off game and in a one-off game you can beat anyone."