England manager Hodgson admitted he suffered "1,000 deaths" every time Poland entered his team's half during the 2-0 win at Wembley on Tuesday night, reports Jack Pitt-Brooke of The Independent.
Rooney's late first-half header had given England a 1-0 lead, but Hodgson and his team had to wait until the closing stages before Gerrard sealed a safe passage to Brazil next year.
Hodgson insists England "have got a chance" of World Cup glory in 2014, reports Pitt-Brooke, but there is a sense of realism regarding the team's hopes next year.
Amid the joy at reaching the finals, Martin Lipton of the Daily Mirror outlined defensive flaws during the game against Poland, while Shaun Custis of The Sun (subscription required) highlighted the fact that qualification had not been a simple process.
Henry Winter of the Daily Telegraph has already selected the 23-man England squad for the finals.
Steven Howard of The Sun also offered praise to Hodgson for his team selection in the games against Montenegro and Poland.
Geoff Sweet of The Sun also outlined the cost of following England to Brazil next year for travelling supporters. Suffice to say, some serious saving will be required in the coming months.