Capello's mind made up

Three Lions chief believes players are ready for curtain-raiser

Capello: Mind made up

Capello: Mind made up

England manager Fabio Capello said his side's fortunate friendly win over Japan made no difference in influencing his squad choices for the World Cup finals.

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Capello's team came from behind to secure a 2-1 victory in Austria, although they required two own-goals in a disjointed performance to cancel out Marcus Tanaka's seventh minute opener.

The Italian boss made five changes at the interval and reverted to a 4-4-2 formation after a turgid opening half, and England offered much improvement.

Frank Lampard missed a penalty to add to the questions posed at England's World Cup hopefuls, however, Capello said the display had not changed his mind about the party of 23 that will travel to South Africa this week.

Confirmed

Seven players need to be culled from the provisional 30-man squad before the 63-year-old announces his final line-up on Tuesday, and Capello suggested he knew which players would be receiving the dreaded phone call.

When asked whether the game had altered his thinking, Capello told Sky Sports News: "No. I notice players that I thought would stay with me before this game. Some players confirmed what I think about (them)."

Capello expanded on the admission when queried about Joe Cole, who was one of the changes made at the break.

The Chelsea man has had doubts cast over his chances of making the plane and an impressive showing may have increased his likelihood of being involved.

But Capello again said Sunday's performance had not influenced him, instead praising the ability of the 28-year-old winger.

Asked directly about Cole's performance and the impact on his thinking, he replied: "No. If I select him, I know the value of Joe Cole. Joe Cole always plays really well and scores important goals.

"At this moment he is fresh after he was injured and he is a very good player."

One decision Capello is still waiting to make is with regards to Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry's recovery from an ankle injury.

The England boss said: "We have to wait for Gareth Barry. We will decide on him after we have had the final check to see how long it will be before he can train with us.

"We have to know everything about this situation but I am not disappointed my mind is still the same."

Capello was keen to take the positives out of the game that was his final warm-up before his side's Group C campaign gets under way on 12th June.

Ready

The USA are England's first opponents in Rustenburg and the Three Lions boss was pleased with the way his team performed in the second half, saying they were ready to launch their attempts at bringing home the coveted trophy.

He went on: "I am happy because in the second half we passed the ball, we win back the ball and we play quicker.

"And Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard played very, very well in midfield. It was not easy to plan against Japan because they were always nine players defending.

"It was good when we go forward but the way we played second half, we played with focus."

He added: "I'm happy because we improved after the game against Mexico. I think we're ready for the game against the USA."

Capello also confirmed Lampard will remain as his penalty-taker, despite following his failure for Chelsea in the FA Cup final with another fluffed effort against Japan.

He said: "Anyone can miss a penalty. I will keep Frank Lampard as penalty-taker."

Who is in danger of being left out of England's World Cup squad?

  • Theo Walcott
  • Adam Johnson
  • Matthew Upson
  • Stephen Warnock
  • Scott Parker
  • Emile Heskey
  • Michael Dawson
  • Other