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Page last updated at 20:12 GMT, Monday, 21 June 2010 21:12 UK

Fabio Capello hits out at John Terry's 'big mistake'

John Terry and Fabio Capello
Capello said Terry's criticism of England's campaign was a "big mistake"

Fabio Capello has reacted swiftly to John Terry's public criticism of England's World Cup campaign by saying his ex-captain made a "big mistake".

Capello 's comments came just 48 hours before Wednesday's Group C game against Slovenia, which will decide if England reach the knockout stages.

"When you speak you have to speak privately," the England coach told ITV.

"This is the big mistake - a very big mistake. It's not revolution. It's the mistake of another player - no more."

France's World Cup campaign has been hit by in-fighting, with striker Nicolas Anelka expelled from the team, but the disciplinarian Capello has moved to underline his authority within the England camp.

Terry said on Sunday that the players planned to hold clear-the-air-talks with Capello, with several reportedly unhappy at the Italian's tactics, but the Chelsea captain backed down after he discovered he did not have the support of other players.

"I spoke with some players and I think it's only John Terry said this," added Capello, who stripped Terry of the England captaincy over allegations he had an affair with team-mate Wayne Bridge's ex-girlfriend.

Capello appointed Rio Ferdinand as Terry's replacement, but after the Manchester United defender was ruled out of the World Cup with a knee injury, Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard was handed the captain's armband.

"No-one speak with me about the problems," said Capello. "My door is open always. If they want to speak with me they can speak with me.

"Every time we have a meeting I ask the captain, 'Problems? you want to say something?' Never. I read that John Terry said this. I don't understand why he don't speak with me every time."

England's poor start to the World Cup, a 1-1 draw with the United States followed by a 0-0 draw against Algeria, has left Capello's side in a precarious position in their group.

A defeat against Slovenia would mean England are eliminated, while a draw would leave their fate depending on the result between the US and Algeria. Only victory would guarantee England make the last 16.


Their performances in South Africa are in stark contrast to those during qualification, when England played with fluidity, flair and freedom.

Capello was also riled by Terry's comments that his Chelsea team-mate Joe Cole was one of only two players - the other being Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney - in the England squad capable of breaking down defences.

"It is another mistake when you speak about one player because there is no respect for the players that play before," said England's 64-year-old Italian coach.

"Always the players think individually, I have to think about the team, it's important. When you speak you have to be careful. I respect Joe Cole. But he is one of the 23 players I have here.

Fabio Capello, Steven Gerrard and Peter Crouch in training

England train ahead of crunch match

"I think he is more disappointed. I know sometimes players want to speak more with you [the media] than with the other players.

"But the mistake is that you have to speak with the players, with me, with the dressing room."

Capello addressed another supposed bone of contention with his squad - his policy of naming his team just hours before a game.

That became a talking point following following goalkeeper Robert Green's gaffe in the 1-1 draw with the United States.

No player unrest at team meeting - Lampard

The Italian has apparently agreed to give his players more warning of his starting line-up for the Slovenia game, but Capello expressed his astonishment that this is now a topic for debate.

"After 26 games this is a new problem," he said. "Before it was OK and the players played well every time. Now they have to know the first XI. I don't understand why. In my career I use this system always, why change?"

Despite England's stuttering campaign and Terry's "big mistake", Capello is confident his team can overcome Slovenia.

"Sometimes from a big mistake comes a big performance," said the former AC Milan, Real Madrid, Roma and Juventus coach. "The next performance will be good. I am 100% sure."

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see also
Upson to start against Slovenia
21 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
France stars 'may boycott match'
21 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
No rift in England camp - Lampard
21 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Capello 'to quit if England exit'
20 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
England hold clear-the-air talks
20 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
Capello strips Terry of captaincy
05 Feb 10 |  Football
How England can qualify
23 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Team tracker and Predictor
27 May 10 |  World Cup 2010

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