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Page last updated at 21:53 GMT, Wednesday, 14 October 2009 22:53 UK

Capello keeps pressure on England


Interview - Fabio Capello

England boss Fabio Capello says his players needed a half-time dressing down to improve their performance in the 3-0 win over Belarus at Wembley.

"The win is important," he said. "The performance of some players was good.

"We didn't play well in the first half. After we scored the first goal (on four minutes) they played better than us.

"We played better in the second half after I had spoken with the players in the dressing room. What I said is only for us."

England took the lead through Peter Crouch but Capello was left frustrated as his side failed to kick on and stamp their mark on the game.

"The style of Belarus was really good," added the Italian. "They played short passes with a lot of movement.

Phil McNulty

"It was not dangerous but the ball possession was always for them."

Tottenham striker Crouch scored twice as he started in attack with Gabriel Agbonlahor because of injuries to Wayne Rooney and Emile Heskey.

Crouch's goals will aid his hopes of a place in Capello's squad for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa but Capello suggested he may find a starting place more difficult to earn.

"I know very well Peter Crouch, I know very well the other players," said Capello. "He is one part of the squad, not more.

"It will depend on the game we are playing and the style we want to play which players are on the pitch."

It was like Obama winning the nobel prize after nine months as President, Beckham being man of the match after 30 minutes

Capello on Beckham's man-of-the-match award

Crouch has now scored 18 goals in 35 England appearances and, although he said he did not expect to start in England's next game against Brazil in a friendly, he hopes to have given Capello a selection dilemma.

"It was very enjoyable," said the 28-year-old. "It is good to finish the qualifying campaign on a winning note at Wembley and take that into the World Cup. For me personally I was pleased to get a couple of goals.

"Have I given the manager a bit of food for thought? Yes. All I can do when given an opportunity is to try to take it and the goals help and, hopefully, my performance has given him something to think about.

"People keep asking me that question and I seem to always be saying that. I am pleased with the way it went against Belarus.

"But we have got some fantastic competition for places, certainly in the striking area, and all I can do is to score goals and, hopefully, get a chance."

Crouch hopes goals will seal World Cup place

Shaun Wright-Phillips, who played on the left flank, also helped his chances with a goal, while substitute David Beckham was awarded the man-of-the-match award for an influential cameo appearance late on.

"I was a bit surprised," Capello admitted with a smile. "It was like Obama winning the Nobel prize after nine months as President, Beckham being man of the match after 30 minutes."

Beckham said afterwards his loan move to AC Milan from LA Galaxy is "95%" done in a switch which should improve the 34-year-old's hopes of appearing in a fourth World Cup.

"With Beckham, the most important thing is that he has to play," stated Capello.

"For me it is very important because Beckham, when he plays, whether it is five minutes, 20 minutes or half an hour, he always plays very well. He is focused on the game. This is important.

"Sometimes players when they come on, have difficulty to enter the game but David always plays very well."

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see also
England 3-0 Belarus
14 Oct 09 |  Internationals
Beckham confirms Milan deal close
14 Oct 09 |  Europe
Wednesday's football as it happened
15 Oct 09 |  Football
International football photos
14 Oct 09 |  Football
Who has qualified for South Africa 2010?
19 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Pick your England XI
31 Aug 07 |  Internationals

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