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Last Updated: Monday, 4 February 2008, 16:05 GMT
Capello demands winning mentality
Shaun Wright-Phillips, Michael Owen and Fabio Capello
England launched their new red away strip on Monday
England v Switzerland
Date: Wednesday, 6 February
Kick-off: 2000 GMT
Venue: Wembley Stadium
BBC Coverage: Live on BBC One, Radio 5 Live and the BBC Sport website

Steven Gerrard says new England coach Fabio Capello wants his squad to demonstrate a winning mentality.

The Italian held his first training session on Monday ahead of Wednesday's friendly against Switzerland.

Midfielder Gerrard, 27, said: "We had a quick meeting on Sunday and he told us it is a fresh start for everyone.

"He has made it clear he wants a winning mentality around the place and wants to build a winning team with players pulling in the same direction."

Sunday's team meeting and Monday's open training session was Capello's first connection with the squad since replacing Steve McClaren as head coach in December.

After a second training session at Wembley on Monday evening, his players will have a final work-out at Arsenal's training ground on Tuesday.

The Liverpool skipper added: "He thinks we can improve going forward and defensively also.

Training was all English. It surprised me, he was really good

Steven Gerrard on Fabio Capello

"He said to us in a team meeting, and also on the training ground, that he has paid attention to watching how we perform individually and as a team. He has watched a lot of our games.

"I don't think it is about enjoying yourself with the manager off the pitch. It is all about seriousness and getting results in an England shirt. That is the most important thing, not having a laugh and a joke.

"I think everyone was nervous because it is a new manager but we're certainly excited."

Much has been made of Capello having to learn English in order to communicate with the squad, with the 61-year-old insisting he would learn the language within a month of arriving in England in December.

Capello is still expected to give his news conference on Tuesday in Italian, with a translator alongside him.

But Gerrard said he was understood fully by the players when he spoke to them in a meeting and at training.


"It was all English. It surprised me, he was really good," confirmed the Liverpool captain.

"All the session was put across to the players in English. He got some help from a translator but it was better than I thought."

Defender Rio Ferdinand was also impressed by Capello's command of English and admitted he was excited at the chance to work with the former Real Madrid coach.

He stated: "He has addressed us all in English, surprisingly good English too.

"He commands your respect, just knowing what he has achieved gives him an aura, but there is no fear involved. It is like the first day at a new school, going to secondary school from primary school.

"You are intrigued and excited to see what new ideas and methods the manager has got and what he is going to bring. We are like school kids, soaking up all the information he has got."

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