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England coach Capello confident ahead of World Cup

2010-03-30 09:05 BJT

Special Report: World Cup 2010 |

MADRID, March 29 (Xinhua) -- England coach Fabio Capello this Monday spoke of his confidence ahead of this summer's World Cup finals.

The Italian led England through a triumphant qualifying campaign spoilt only by a defeat in the Ukraine, when the English had already booked their ticket to this June's event in South Africa.

Speaking to Spanish television station GOL television, Capello said he was pleased with the way things were working out.

"It's going well at the moment, we still have over two months to be prepared. We had the problem that (David) Beckham is injured, he is an important player for us. He can play 10 or 15 minutes if needed and is important for the dressing room," explained Capello.

Beckham won't be able to play because of his Achilles tendon injury, but Capello wants him in South Africa nonetheless.

"He is a symbol. We have asked him if he can come with us to South Africa. It is down to him," he explained.

Without Beckham, much attention will be placed on midfield duo Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard. The pairing has not always worked for England in the past, but Capello believes they will function in the World Cup.

"I think that good players always have to play together, but it depends on their individual form, because in the national team you have to pick those who are in the best condition. They are very good and important players and that is why I think they can play together. On many occasions, they make the difference in every game," he explained.

Capello also showed his admiration for Arsenal youngster Theo Walcott, who started England's World Cup qualification with a hat- trick in the 4-1 win over Croatia.

"Last year Walcott was the player who most surprised me, he was very important for us in our qualification matches. This year the most improved player is James Milner. He has played three or four games and he is part of the team," said the coach.

However, the player Capello is most impressed is Wayne Rooney, who has scored an impressive 31 goals for Manchester United this season.

"He has scored a lot of goals and he has been incredible this year. I hope he can maintain his form until South Africa. There are three players who can make a difference at the moment. One is Cristiano Ronaldo, the other is Leo Messi and Rooney is the other. There are then two other players who come in just behind. One is Kun Aguero (Atletico Madrid) and the other is Pato (AC Milan). They are young and the future will be theirs," he explained.

Capello also said why he had taken the England captaincy away from John Terry following a sex scandal. "I want the player who wears the armband to be an example to youngsters, but Terry is still an important player, because he is a leader on the pitch and a coach needs players like that," he commented.

England will prepare for the World Cup in Austria and Capello sounded a battle-cry for the English supporters.

"They should be confident, because I am confident. I am here because I believe in this team. I believe in this opportunity to go to South Africa with a good team," he concluded.

Editor: Su Yu | Source: Xinhua