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Ratcliffe backs Terry as skipper

Kevin Ratcliffe
Ratcliffe won 59 caps for Wales between 1981 and 1993

Former Wales skipper Kevin Ratcliffe says he can understand why Fabio Capello has given the England captaincy back to John Terry.

The England manager has handed the armband to Terry a year after stripping it from him.

The Chelsea defender will lead England out against Wales in the Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales on Saturday.

"You see a good captain when things are going wrong," said Ratcliffe about Terry's leadership.

"And if I was up against it, he [Terry] is someone I would want by my side.

"He plays like a captain. I watched the way he played [for Chelsea] against Manchester City on Sunday and the way he threw his body into challenges.

"Not many people do that. He is an old fashioned centre-half.

"He is not afraid to put his head on the ball even if there are six studs coming his way. The day that changes will be time to hang up his boots."

Terry lost the captaincy in the wake of a much-publicised personal scandal.

But although Rio Ferdinand and Steven Gerrard are injured for Saturday's Millennium Stadium clash, Capello has confirmed this is not a short-term appointment and Terry will keep the job until he leaves in 16 months' time.

Ratcliffe knows the move has not met with universal approval but when he assesses the present England squad, the man who led both Everton and Wales with such distinction during his own playing days feels Terry is the obvious choice.

Ratcliffe believes any discontent within the England camp will soon drift away once the focus switches towards Saturday's game, with England desperate to get back to winning ways and Wales equally keen to stop them.

"John Terry has been disciplined and the manager thinks a year is enough," said Ratcliffe.

John Terry
Terry has taken over the captaincy from the injured Rio Ferdinand

"It will be easier for some players to deal with than others. But once they get onto the pitch, they will all get on with it."

As a member of the last Wales side to beat England, at Wrexham in 1984, Ratcliffe can only dream of the dragon breathing such fire once more.

Yet to register a point in Group G and with Gary Speed about to experience his first competitive match as manager, Ratcliffe knows his fellow countrymen are up against it.

But he refuses to abandon hope entirely, insisting Wales can cause a shock.

"Anything can happen in football," he said.

"One tackle or one decision can change an entire game.

"Obviously there has been all this stuff about John Terry but when England are going into battle, there is always something negative coming out of the camp.

"We have to roll our sleeves up and get at them. If we do, we have a chance. If we don't, we won't even get close."



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see also
Speed's Wales sell-out rally cry
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Injured Bale out of England clash
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Jarvis gets first England call-up
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Speed praise for Ramsey character
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Terry returns as England captain
20 Mar 11 |  Football
Why Wales hold out Wembley hope
04 Sep 11 |  Welsh
Welsh FA sorry for ticket blunder
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Wales' international fixtures
22 Aug 07 |  Welsh
Wales' results 2010
22 Feb 10 |  Welsh
Euro 2012 qualifying tables
07 Sep 11 |  Football
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales


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