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Page last updated at 22:22 GMT, Wednesday, 1 April 2009 23:22 UK

Capello happy with England effort

Fabio Capello
Capello's side next play Kazakhstan away on 6 June

England coach Fabio Capello paid tribute to his players after they overcame Ukraine to maintain their 100% record in World Cup 2010 qualifying.

"I'm happy because we won the game - it was very important because we knew Ukraine would be a very strong team," Capello told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"They've just started their league and are fresh, while we are at the end of our season. This is a big difference.

"The players played very well and without fear."

England have won all five of their group six matches and are five points clear of second-place Croatia.

They took the lead against Ukraine when Peter Crouch volleyed home but, after Andriy Shevchenko looked to have earned his side a draw with a 74th-minute equaliser, it required a late effort from John Terry to wrap up the victory.

"We played the first half very well, the second a little less," said Capello, whose only defeats as England manager came in friendlies against France and Spain.

"In midfield we lost a lot of balls and the movement was not as we had prepared.

"We played slowly and missed a lot of easy and important passes. Ukraine were fresh so we needed to play more quickly and this is impossible with us at the end of our season. The fans were very good, noisy when they needed to be, and they helped us."


Captain Terry praised his side's character as they moved to within touching distance of the 2010 finals in South Africa.

England next play Kazakhstan away on 6 June and then face bottom-of-the-group Andorra at Wembley four days later.

"We were disappointed to concede a goal late on but showed great character to come back and win the game, so there are some real positives," said Terry.

"It meant a lot [to score] and it has given us the win, so I'm delighted. There was some great fight and desire from the lads, we're not settling for 1-1 and we went on to win the game.

"We're in a great position in the group and this has really set us up. Ukraine have a game in hand but this puts us in a great position.

"We've got Kazakhstan away and Andorra at home so it's two tough games next but hopefully six points. At the moment things are going well."

Capello added: "It will be very long until the Kazakhstan game and I hope when we start training for the next two games the players will be in a better physically condition then they are now."

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see also
England 2-1 Ukraine
01 Apr 09 |  Internationals
International football as it happened
01 Apr 09 |  Internationals
World Cup qualifying photos
01 Apr 09 |  Football
Pick your England XI
31 Aug 07 |  Internationals
Owen has England future - Lampard
30 Mar 09 |  Internationals
The rise and fall of Shevchenko
31 Mar 09 |  Internationals
Heskey pulls out of England squad
29 Mar 09 |  Internationals
England 4-0 Slovakia
28 Mar 09 |  Internationals

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