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Page last updated at 18:49 GMT, Tuesday, 22 June 2010 19:49 UK

England boss Capello backs John Terry despite criticism

Fabio Capello (left) and John Terry
Capello (left) says Terry is 'one of the most important players'

England boss Fabio Capello says he never contemplated dropping John Terry following the defender's public criticism of the World Cup campaign.

Capello stated on Monday that Terry made a "big mistake" in questioning his training methods and tactics.

But the Italian said on Tuesday: "John Terry is one of the most important players [for England]."

England must beat Slovenia in their final group match on Wednesday to reach the knockout stage of the tournament.

Capello admitted it was "possible that I made some mistakes" in England's first two matches of the tournament - disappointing draws against the United States and Algeria.

However, the 64-year-old insisted he had a good relationship with the squad - including Terry, whom he stripped of the England captaincy in February after allegations the Chelsea defender had an affair with an England team-mate's ex-girlfriend.

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"Every time when I speak with the players they follow me," said Capello.

"The players are happy. They trained very well. I think it's normal to have pressure at the moment. We have a play-off to be in or out. We have to win."

England go into Wednesday's game at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth amid concerns about the state of its pitch.

Heavy rain a week ago is thought to have affected the surface, and the team were not permitted to train on it on Tuesday.

The stadium was last used in Chile's 1-0 victory against Switzerland on Monday.

Nelson Mandela Bay stadium pitch
The pitch during Chile's match with Switzerland on Monday

England captain Steven Gerrard stated there were "a few problems" with the pitch. However, he added: "I've played on worse. We cannot use the pitch as an excuse."

Gerrard also denied that some players had put pressure on Capello to pick Joe Cole for Wednesday's fixture.

Terry had said on Sunday that the Chelsea midfielder was one of only two members of the England squad - the other being striker Wayne Rooney - who is capable of breaking down defences.

"The manager picks the team he thinks best to do the job," said Gerrard. "And obviously the players aren't in any position to question who the manager picks.

"Whoever he picks, we go with that and we give it our best shot."



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see also
Terry sorry for England criticism
22 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Terry 'mistake' irritates Capello
21 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
John Terry news conference in full
20 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Slovenia boss still rates England
22 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Capello calls for 'respect'
21 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Team guide: Slovenia
31 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Upson to start against Slovenia
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
Highlights - England 0-0 Algeria
18 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
How England can qualify
23 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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