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Last Updated: Monday, 7 January 2008, 17:27 GMT
England expects, admits Capello
Fabio Capello begins work as England boss
Fabio Capello was at Aston Villa and Luton at the weekend
Fabio Capello began his tenure as England boss on Monday and admitted he is under immediate pressure to succeed.

Capello, 61, spent the day at Football Association headquarters in Soho Square and had a meeting with Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce, among others.

"The England fans are famous for their strength of support. But with support also comes expectation," said Capello.

"I look forward to feeling the amazing following of the England fans for myself when we play our first match."

Capello's England face Euro 2008 co-hosts Switzerland in his bow as manager on 6 February at Wembley and he will name his first squad on 31 January.

Pearce has been tipped to be included in Capello's coaching team, along with the four Italians he has already appointed.

It's important that we get on with the job as quickly as possible

Fabio Capello

The former AC Milan, Juventus, Roma and Real Madrid coach says Pearce has an important part to play in his new set-up.

"I want to have a close working relationship with him," added Capello.

"The Under-21s play an important part in the England senior team's development."

Capello, who spent the weekend watching FA Cup games, discussed arrangements for February's friendly against Switzerland and also met with FA chief executive Brian Barwick and director of football development Sir Trevor Brooking.

"I am pleased that my assistant Franco Baldini was able to start with me - it's important that we get on with the job as quickly as possible," said Capello.

Fabio Capello (left) with Stuart Pearce
Capello's first meeting was with Under-21 boss Stuart Pearce

"It is a huge honour for me to today begin my work as England manager. I have wanted this job for a long time.

"I have had the privilege of managing some of the most successful clubs in the world, but the England job is as big as any."

Capello also spent much of the day discussing the forthcoming World Cup fixtures meeting in Zagreb, which takes place on Monday 14 January.

He is expected to attend the Carling Cup semi-finals this week and he also plans to visit Wembley and the hotel that England use with his staff.


Capello could also pay a visit to Arsenal's London Colney training ground, which England use as their base, and he could meet up again with David Beckham, who is training with the Gunners.

The LA Galaxy midfielder is one cap short of 100, but his selection for the friendly at Wembley against Switzerland is by no means guaranteed.

Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has urged Capello to pick Beckham for the game.

"I have a message to Capello - he has to pick David at least once," said Eriksson as Capello took up the reins.

Beckham's club side are currently in their close season, prompting the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star to train with Arsene Wenger's side.

Ticket sales for the Switzerland game have now passed beyond the 60,000 mark, and he is desperate to be part of it.

"I'm there to get my fitness for the MLS season and also to try to get fit for the England game," said Beckham.

"Even if it wasn't just for the 100th cap, for an England game I'd do the same.

"I want to be fit and be available for Mr Capello's first team and first game."

Beckham was speaking at a gala dinner where he was honoured by the Football Writers' Association.

And the 32-year-old revealed his fitness after a five-week break from football had surprised him.

"It's a lot better than I thought it was," he said.

"I feel great. I've had one day of training with the Arsenal team and three days of training with the fitness trainer."

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Time to focus on country, not club
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Beckham eager to play for Capello
24 Dec 07 |  Internationals
Who is Fabio Capello?
14 Dec 07 |  Internationals
Real coach calls time on Beckham
13 Jan 07 |  Football


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