England’s FIFA World Cup campaign started brightly, with an excellent first-half performance seeing Daniel Sturridge net a deserved equaliser eight minutes before the break.
But Roy Hodgson’s men struggled to break Italy down after the interval and were left beaten by Mario Balotelli’s 50th-minute header.
The manner of the performance particularly pleased Gerrard, who was adamant England can bounce back against Uruguay on Thursday.
“It’s always disappointing to lose a game but I’m certainly not disappointed in my team-mates with the effort, desire and commitment in the performance we gave,” Gerrard said.
“We can’t be down after a performance like that.
“We can turn this mood around. Of course the result hurts but we’re big players ” we’re men ” we’ve got to get on.”
Forward Rooney was not at his best in the searing Manaus heat, but was still involved in two of England’s key moments.
His fine cross led to Sturridge’s goal and he had a superb chance to level in the second half, only to miss the target.
The Manchester United man was disappointed not to score but is looking forward to responding against Oscar Tabarez’s side in Sao Paulo.
“Going 2-1 behind, we knew it was going to be tough then. Italy are a good team and they make it difficult for you,” he said.
“I was disappointed that I didn’t score but we always believed we could win.
“We’ll move on. We are looking forward to the game on Thursday and hopefully we can get three points.”
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