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Page last updated at 15:31 GMT, Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Fabio Capello names Steven Gerrard as England captain

International friendly - England v Egypt
Venue: Wembley Stadium Date: Wednesday, 3 March Kick-off: 2000 GMT
Coverage: Live on ITV1, full commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and online, live text updates on BBC Sport website.

Fabio Capello discusses options with England's in-form Wayne Rooney
Fabio Capello discusses options with England's in-form Wayne Rooney

Fabio Capello has confirmed Steven Gerrard will be England's captain against Egypt at Wembley on Wednesday.

Gerrard leads the side in place of the injured Rio Ferdinand, who was promoted to skipper after John Terry's demotion.

Ahead of the World Cup the England boss said he was keen to move on from the reports of Terry's alleged affair with Wayne Bridge's former partner.

"The important thing is how the players perform on the pitch and not what happens outside," stated Capello.

The Italian is expecting an "interesting" match on Wednesday and hopes the fans will not boo Terry.

"We hope to play very well and we invite the fans to help us," he added.

Capello has been impressed by the way in which his players have trained during their first get-together since last November after urging them this week to "re-create a spirit" within the team.

He said: "I spoke with the players. You have to do training really focused because after four months it was really important to do that well. For me now I'm really happy because the spirit is something I remember we had in November."


With Ferdinand ruled out of the game because of a back injury, Gerrard will take over the duty of leading his country against Egypt.

And the Liverpool talisman is calling on his team-mates to show they remain united as they prepare for this summer's World Cup finals in South Africa.

"Being England captain is always a big responsibility. I am delighted that I will be leading the boys out," said Gerrard.

"The players have a responsibility to forget about what's being written off the field and focus on what we can do on the pitch.

"We've done really well in qualification and I think Wednesday is a fantastic opportunity to show the fans and everyone around the world that we are still united and still a very strong team that has a good chance at the World Cup."

Stoke City's Ryan Shawcross was named in England's squad only hours after a leg-breaking challenge on Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey on Saturday.

Capello said Shawcross had not intended to cause so much damage to gifted midfielder.

"The tackle was a really strong tackle, but not to break the leg of the other player. I spoke twice to him [Shawcross] and I am happy that he stays here and I think that to stay with us helps him forget what happened."

England booked their place in South Africa with nine wins in their 10 qualifiers and Capello believes Egypt will provide his men with a good test at Wembley.

"It's not easy to win the African Nations Cup three times if you are not a good team," he said.

"I watched Egypt's games and it is a really, really good team. They are dangerous, they are really well organised on the pitch who know what to do in every moment.

"I think it will be a really interesting test for us."

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see also
England 3-1 Egypt
03 Mar 10 |  Football
Milner criticises Wembley pitch
02 Mar 10 |  Football
Rooney asks fans not to boo Terry
01 Mar 10 |  Football
Shawcross named in England squad
27 Feb 10 |  Football
Terry will not lead under Capello
28 Feb 10 |  Football
Capello hopes for Bridge rethink
26 Feb 10 |  Football

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