Sunday, January 29, 2023

Capello happy with England´s progress

SoccerNews in English Premier League 2 Jun 2008


Fabio Capello believes England are ahead of schedule going into next season's World Cup qualifiers.

Capello's side strolled to a 3-0 friendly win over Trinidad and Tobago in Port of Spain on Sunday thanks to Gareth Barry's first international goal and a Jermain Defoe double.

The Italian, who has won three of his four matches since succeeding Steve McClaren, insisted the end of season victories over the United States and Trinidad had been an invaluable learning experience.

He is confident the 10-day training camp had helped him get his message across ahead of England's first qualifier against Andorra in September.

“I'm happy because it is the finish of the season and we were playing away after a long trip in warm weather. We played the first half very well and the players did everything I asked of them before the game,” he told the BBC.

“I have learned a lot. I know the players better which is very important and they know me. I know the characteristics of the players during training but also during the game. Sometimes players are good in training and not in the actual game.

“Step by step we are moving on. I hope when we play our first qualifier all the players are fit. This is very important, then I can decide my best 11.”

Capello has decided who will captain England on a permanent basis next season but he refused to be drawn on the identity of his choice.

“I have some idea who the captain will be. I am happy for the captain,” he said.

David Beckham believes England's committed performance in such a low-key match showed how much respect Capello already commands.

“He's got a very serious camp. It's a very motivated camp and we all realise that whether we've got experienced players or young players in the team, we have to be a team,” Beckham said.

“Whoever is playing the respect is there for each other and the support is there for each other. That's the way it needs to be going forward because we want to win something.

“We're looking forward to getting the qualifiers started now, that's the main thing.”

Beckham played just the first half but the LA Galaxy midfielder was just pleased to get a chance to captain his country for the first time since the 2006 World Cup.

“I was very surprised. I wasn't expecting it but I enjoyed it. Whenever I am asked to represent my country I will do that and whenever I'm asked to captain my country I will,” he said.

“We started well in the first 20 minutes and pressed them high. The manager was telling us to take it seriously before the game even though it was a friendly.

“It was important to put in a good performance and we did. We played some good football.”

Defoe's international career was on hold during the final months of his Tottenham career but his move to Portsmouth has breathed new life into the forward for club and country.

After missing two good chances against the United States last week, he was grateful for the chance to make amends against Trinidad's woeful defence.

“I enjoyed it. It's important to get the win and I'm delighted to get two goals,” Defoe said.

“I just want to keep learning. When a new manager comes in it's a clean slate for everyone. I've just got to keep working hard.

“I've finished the season strongly and I'm just happy after my move to Portsmouth.”


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