England coach Capello stays upbeat despite injuries

November 19th, 2008 - 3:09 pm ICT by IANS  

ChelseaBerlin, Nov 19 (DPA) England manager Fabio Capello is confident his injury-depleted side will perform well against Germany in a friendly international here.”I am sure we will play a big game. I have every confidence in the team. For me it’s not a friendly game. I want to win every game,” he said.

England are missing seven first-choice players, with the team doctor confirming injuries to midfielders Steven Gerrard (groin) and Frank Lampard (rib).

England are also without Theo Walcott, Wayne Rooney, Joe Cole, Ashley Cole, Rio Ferdinand and Emile Heskey for the match in the Olympic Stadium.

Capello said it would now be a rule that all players injured playing in the Premier League on the weekend before an international would be told to report to the England doctor for an examination.

However, Capello dismissed suggestions that England players had pulled out because it was a friendly international.

It would have made “no difference” if it had been a World Cup qualifier or Champions League match. “They couldn’t possibly play,” he said Tuesday, on the eve of the match.

Fulham’s Jimmy Bullard and Scott Parker of West Ham have been added to the squad to replace Liverpool skipper Gerrard and Chelsea’s Lampard.

The squad features uncapped players in Chelsea defender Michael Mancienne, currently on loan to Wolves, and the Aston Villa pair Gabriel Agbonlahor and Curtis Davies.

Capello, speaking at the stadium before England trained on the pitch, said any player who did not play because of injury the weekend before a mid-week international would not be in the squad.

Others who picked up injuries in the weekend’s fixtures would be checked by the England doctor.

“The two players Lampard and Gerrard we checked and they are injured. This will be the rule for the next games. Always the doctor will check the physical condition of the players. We respect the doctors of the team but we will check,” he said.

However Capello said the match would give him an opportunity to test younger players.

“I am happy because some players that play very well in the Premier League can play a very important game against a big team. I can check the confidence and the performance of these players,” he said.

Captain John Terry, who was initially also a doubt with a foot injury, also dismissed any suggestions that players did not want to play for England in a friendly as “a load of rubbish.”

Chelsea team-mate Lampard “was desperate to play” but there was no point taking a risk. “That’s no good for Frank, for Chelsea or England - we have to look at the bigger picture.”

Terry said the match would give the younger players a chance.

“It is down to them to show that they really are ready at this level,” he said.

The match was “massively important especially coming here to play Germany who beat us at Wembley (in August 2007), the history of the games and what it means back home. The squad is coming here to win.”

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