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Fabio Capello warns England squad over conduct

England head coach Fabio Capello
Capello is keen to build team spirit ahead of this summer's World Cup

England boss Fabio Capello has warned his players their off-field conduct will play a big part in whether they make this summer's World Cup squad.

Capello sacked John Terry as England captain over allegations of an affair with Wayne Bridge's ex-girlfriend.

Ashley Cole has also hit the headlines over his separation from wife Cheryl.

And Capello said: "The players have to understand what I want, if you want to stay with me. It will be very important because we need to create a group."

The Italian will stress the importance of team spirit and personal discipline when he talks to his players ahead of England's friendly with Egypt on 3 March.

With Cole sidelined by an ankle injury, Terry and Bridge are expected to be named in the squad to face the African champions when it is announced at the weekend and Capello believes there will be no negative effect on his preparations for the World Cup finals in South Africa.

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Capello is keen to build morale before England start their campaign against the United States on 12 June and revealed he will discuss recent off-field events with his players.

"The World Cup is really important for me, for England and for the players," he explained. "We have to stay together and compact in every moment. I think this will be my most important job - to recreate this spirit.

"After four months, we will meet the players next week and it will be a very important game for many reasons. One is also this [situation].

"We will talk about a lot of things because four months is a long time. If you can meet the players every month it is different. We will have two days to stay together but they are very strong days."

Capello is confident that Cole, his first choice left-back, will be fit for the World Cup finals but says Bridge will deputise until then.

"I spoke with Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti and our doctors spoke with Chelsea's doctors," added Capello. "We hope he will be fit in two months more or less and I think he will be ready for the World Cup.

"Wayne Bridge? Why not? He is a left-back. Cole and Bridge are the best left-backs."

I've already admitted that losing the captaincy hurt but that's in the past and all I want to do now is move forward and carry on giving my best for England

England defender John Terry

There had been suggestions Bridge was considering his international future because he might be unwilling to play alongside Terry but Capello stated: "No, he will be with us. No problems about the other things."

Terry is keen to put the allegations behind him and insisted losing the England captaincy will not affect his attitude to playing for his country.

"I'm responding by doing what I've always done - by looking straight ahead. I've got broad shoulders and nobody's going to knock me out of my stride," he said.

"I am strong enough and passionate enough to know I will carry on delivering my best for club and country.

"Absolutely nothing will change. I've already admitted that losing the captaincy hurt but that's in the past and all I want to do now is move forward and carry on giving my best for England.

"I'm on a mission and nothing is going to distract me. I want to win the Champions League and Premier League for Chelsea and help win the World Cup for England.

"I'm not ashamed to say it, I wouldn't be John Terry if I felt any differently."



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see also
Capello confirms World Cup base
23 Feb 10 |  World Cup 2010
Cheryl Cole announces separation
23 Feb 10 |  Entertainment
Chelsea stars warned over conduct
19 Feb 10 |  Chelsea
World Cup doubt over Ashley Cole
13 Feb 10 |  Chelsea
Mancini backs Bridge for England
12 Feb 10 |  Man City
Capello strips Terry of captaincy
05 Feb 10 |  Football


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