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Page last updated at 22:35 GMT, Sunday, 20 June 2010 23:35 UK

World Cup 2010: England team hold clear-the-air talks


John Terry news conference in full

Fabio Capello and his England squad held clear-the-air talks on Sunday to discuss Friday's 0-0 draw with Algeria.

England's latest lacklustre display was followed by reports that the squad is unhappy with aspects of Capello's management style and tactical approach.

But BBC Sports Editor David Bond revealed that the meeting between the coach and players was "positive".

However, while it is understood Capello will address the players' boredom he "will not back down to player power".

Speaking ahead of the meeting, the Italian had admitted: "Yes, it almost feels like all the work of the last two years has been for nothing.

I have seen a few reports myself. There is no unrest in the camp at all

John Terry

"I am not happy because we have worked hard for 20 days.

"You see all the things during the training. Then on the pitch it is completely different. As a manager, when that happens it is no good.

"I don't understand why during a game we don't change the rhythm or the speed. We are really slow. At this World Cup if you don't run or press or fight it is difficult to go forward."

As much as England's failure to earn more than two draws from their matches against the United States and Algeria, it is the manner of their performances that have baffled Capello and upset England supporters.

It means England must now beat Slovenia in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday to be sure of qualifying from Group C and earning a place in the last 16.

As a backdrop to issues on the field, newspaper reports have suggested unhappiness at Capello's style is rife among his players, and that his future could be in doubt.

But former captain John Terry, again speaking before the meeting took place, claimed the squad was "fully behind" the Italian.

"Everyone needs to get off their chest exactly how they're feeling. If it upsets him [Capello], or it upsets any player, then so be it," he said.


"I have seen a few reports myself. There is no unrest in the camp at all. I'm here on behalf of all the players to say we are all fully behind the manager. Everyone is positive."

Capello's insistence on naming his line-up two hours before kick-off has come under scrutiny, and his man-management skills have also been questioned.

But Terry stated: "Since the manager has come in he's had his ways and his philosophies that he's brought to the side.

"That's worked in the [qualifying] campaign and nothing should change from that. We've got to stay unified.

"I've read things about people playing with fear. At any level there's a certain amount of nerves, but I can honestly say that all that's gone once we cross the white line. We can't use that as an excuse - we just haven't done it.

"We shouldn't be looking at excuses or criticising the manager. We're supporting him and know we've got his support as well, and that's the main thing.

"We're obviously still disappointed from the game against Algeria, but we have to pick ourselves up."

Terry's views were backed by goalkeeper David James, who said the tension being felt by England's players was understandable.

"There is high pressure," James told BBC Radio 5 live.

"The games are so tight. The images of the fantasy World Cup where people are laughing and joking all the time are off the mark, it's been a very intense competition so far."

In a calm, considered assessment of England's predicament, James sought to temper some of the doom and gloom surrounding the team's performances in South Africa and suggested things may well be about to change.

"We need to win simply," the 39-year-old added. "We could be sitting here with two victories thinking we were the best team in the world and then get knocked out in the next round.

"There is a reality that we have to win, and from here on in every match has to be a winner otherwise we are out."

Asked about Capello's invitation for players to air their views, James insisted players had always been encouraged to speak out if they had something to say.

"We have a group of players who want to win games and haven't so to say we are happy would be wrong," James continued.

"But we have confidence in our ability to beat Slovenia, so if things are said it doesn't need to be a situation where all of a sudden there's a crisis.

Fabio Capello and Steven Gerrard
Capello has faced criticism over the role of Steven Gerrard

"We are a confident group of players who think they can get through to the next stage and that's the most important thing."

Capello's decision to play Emile Heskey up front with Wayne Rooney has attracted criticism, with many calling for captain Steven Gerrard to be deployed in an attacking central midfield role.

Joe Cole's omission has also raised eyebrows and, in addition to backing Capello, Terry gave a clear indication that he would welcome the inclusion of his Chelsea team-mate.

"If he's called on, Joe will do a great job," said Terry. "I personally think he and Wayne Rooney are the only two in the side who can really open up things and are key to breaking down defences."

Capello will have to make at least one change, as defender Jamie Carragher is suspended for the Slovenia game after picking up yellow cards in both England's previous matches in South Africa.

And Terry appeared to suggest that Spurs centre-back Ledley King could be an option to replace Carragher, despite recently being ruled out for three weeks with a groin problem.

"Whether it's Matthew Upson or Michael Dawson who comes in alongside me, or even Ledley - who's back light jogging again, which is encouraging - we'll know each other's game," Terry added.

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see also
How England can qualify
23 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Highlights - England 0-0 Algeria
18 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Ronaldo backs Rooney to improve
20 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Rooney says sorry to England fans
19 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
England display confuses Capello
19 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Saadane surprised by poor England
18 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Gerrard calls for fighting spirit
19 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Team tracker and Predictor
27 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup venues
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010

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