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Page last updated at 14:22 GMT, Wednesday, 3 March 2010

England fans admit Terry concerns

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.

By Sam Lyon

Chelseal skipper John Terry
Terry remains a vital member of Fabio Capello's England squad

England's friendly against Egypt on Wednesday night will be a "night of mixed emotions" for supporters, says fans group spokesman Mark Perryman.

John Terry will be the focus of attention as he plays his first England match since his demotion as captain following the Wayne Bridge saga.

And Perryman told BBC Sport: "There is no point pretending Terry is the most popular member of the squad right now.

"But I don't know anyone who is coming with the express intention of booing."

Chelsea defender Terry has been heckled by away supporters in the Premier League in recent weeks following public revelations and allegations about his private life.

The centre-half also had the England captaincy taken away from him by national team coach Fabio Capello during the fallout, while Bridge's refusal to shake his hand before Manchester City's 4-2 defeat of Chelsea last weekend made the front pages of the newspapers again.

Bridge, meanwhile, has also ruled himself out of appearing for England in the near future over the furore.

Capello has since urged his players to live up their status as role models, admitting: "The private life is a big problem for some players, but also brings big problems for the clubs and for me."

And Perryman explained: "Terry has been stripped of his captaincy, he's clearly been undermined, he hasn't had the best couple of weeks on the pitch, an important squad player has now decided not to go to South Africa and we're getting all sorts of negative press around the team.

"Nobody in their right mind would say this is the best way to be approaching a World Cup.

606: DEBATE
JRW

"And I don't think this story has ended yet by any means, because we don't know the strength of feeling amongst the players who feel very close to Wayne Bridge, and presumably those players who feel close to John Terry.

"Let's just hope that Capello - supremely experienced manager that he is - has the ability to knock a few heads together and say 'look you might not like each other, but we have a serious chance of doing very, very well in South Africa - let's put all that behind us and work as a team'."

However, Perryman insisted supporters would get behind the team as much as ever, despite the ill feeling felt towards Terry.

"You don't have to like the players to want them to be in the team to get to South Africa and to do well at the World Cup and Terry is an absolutely crucial part of our back four," he said.

"It will be a night of mixed emotions in that respect.

"But England have absolutely not lost the fans, just because one member of the squad isn't too popular. The fans coming to the match against Egypt, and particularly those of us lucky enough to be going to South Africa, will be supporting England long after most of the current players have stopped playing for the national side."

England's senior and U-21 players will wear black armbands in memory of Macclesfield manager Keith Alexander, who died on Wednesday at the age of 53.



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see also
Capello rues player cash excess
03 Mar 10 |  Football
Gerrard named as England captain
02 Mar 10 |  Football
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
Capello warns squad over conduct
24 Feb 10 |  World Cup 2010
Cheryl Cole announces separation
23 Feb 10 |  Entertainment


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