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Page last updated at 06:21 GMT, Wednesday, 14 October 2009 07:21 UK

England yet to reach peak - Terry

WORLD CUP GROUP SIX QUALIFIER: England v Belarus
Venue: Wembley Date: Wednesday, 14 October Kick off: 2000 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and live text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobiles. Live on ITV1.

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World Cup places not secure - Terry

Captain John Terry insists England can improve by "another 20 or 30%" as they aim to complete their World Cup qualifying campaign by beating Belarus.

Having already sealed their place in the finals, Wednesday's Wembley finale offers a chance to sign off on a high.

"From where we were, we've come a long way but we've still got another 20 or 30% to improve," Terry said.

"We've got huge improvements to make all over, in defence and going forward, collectively and individually."

Terry expects manager Fabio Capello to experiment with different players and formations in their five remaining games before the World Cup gets under way next June.

It is the minimum requirement for us to be in a major competition

John Terry

With striker Wayne Rooney ruled out of Wednesday's match with a calf injury, the Italian will give Gabriel Agbonlahor and Peter Crouch chances to stake their claims up front.

Despite Saturday's 1-0 defeat in the Ukraine, which ended England's 100% record in qualifying, Terry insists the squad is confident of making an impact in South Africa next summer.

"That belief is there in the squad, within the players, that we can win something. In the past we've all come out and said 'yeah, we can win something.'

"But the important thing is that you feel that inside. When you feel that, you feel you can go up another level. That confidence is there.

"We do feel quietly confident. The improvements are there all over the squad and the manager has been a massive part of that."

606: DEBATE

All 55 players who have featured so far in Capello's squads have been invited to attend Wednesday's match.

And Terry indicated the players will show their appreciation to the fans with a lap of honour after the game.

"We'll go around the pitch. We owe that to the fans, for their support. They were really good again the other night.

"We'd love to go out on a high note with a win, but we owe it to the fans to show our gratitude. We won't be running around celebrating or jumping on each other's backs.

"It is the minimum requirement for us to be in a major competition. It's a major achievement because we've come a long way since last time.

"But, above all, it's a thank you. Those fans travel all over the world. Look at the other night. Think of their tickets, hotels, a few beers. It adds up to an awful lot of money, and the players really respect that."

Rio still wants the ball. That's why he's one of the best in the world

John Terry

Terry has urged the fringe members of the squad to take their opportunity in Rooney's absence on Wednesday.

Agbonlahor will start his first competitive international while Crouch will look to improve on an impressive England tally of 16 goals from his 34 previous caps.

Aston Villa midfielder James Milner could also make a rare start on Wednesday with Steven Gerrard ruled out with a groin problem.

"Wayne has been the heartbeat for us in this campaign," Terry added.

"But it is a chance for other players to come in and make their case to be on the plane to South Africa next summer.

"Even players who have been playing regularly feel under threat because if we are not playing well the manager is strong enough to drop us."

Terry has also backed his central defensive partner Rio Ferdinand to recover from his mistake against Ukraine which led to England being reduced to 10 men when Robert Green was sent off.

Defeat not dented confidence - Lampard

"As any player, when you make a mistake you want to put it right. You feel as if you've let your team-mates down.

"But some players go into their shells. Rio still wants the ball. That's why he's one of the best in the world - and someone I still learn from - in training and at Manchester United.

"He wants to put things right, but all of us in the squad are 100% behind him, and anyone else who makes a mistake."

Capello also stated his faith in Ferdinand in the wake of the game in Dnipropetrovsk.

"He made one mistake during the game. It was a long ball that bounced and he didn't judge the direction well," said the Italian.

"But after that he played a good game.

"At this moment he is making some mistakes but you cannot question Rio's value."



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see also
England 3-0 Belarus
14 Oct 09 |  Internationals
Barry understands Heskey stance
13 Oct 09 |  Internationals
Ukraine 1-0 England
10 Oct 09 |  Internationals
England web tie appears a success
11 Oct 09 |  Internationals
Saturday's football as it happened
10 Oct 09 |  Football
Who has qualified for South Africa 2010?
19 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Rooney 'can match world's best'
29 Sep 09 |  Europe


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