Football

Capello: Players are happy

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England manager Fabio Capello insisted his relationship with his players is "really good" ahead of Wednesday's crunch World Cup clash with Slovenia.

And the Italian claimed he never contemplated dropping John Terry following the defender's choice to raise a number of grievances within the squad in a public forum on Sunday rather than behind closed doors.

"John Terry is one of the most important players," Capello said. And asked about his relationship with the players, he added: "Really good, because every time when I speak with the players they follow me. The players are happy. They trained very well."

He added: "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."

Captain Steven Gerrard, who described the game against Slovenia as "do or die", claimed Terry's outburst is not affecting the players.

"He's gone out and said what he said but I think it's time to move on," said the Liverpool midfielder. "As captain it's important I switch attention to the game as it's a do-or-die situation.

"Training was very good and sharp (on Tuesday morning) so we need to go out and do the business."

Capello also backed Wayne Rooney to up his game following recent criticism of his below-par performances, especially in the goalless draw with Algeria.

"I spoke a lot of time with Rooney and he is an important player for us," said Capello.

"Sometimes the pressure is so big, also for the important players. He improved in the last three days during training. I am sure on Wednesday he will play really well."

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Topics:
Football
John Terry
Premier League
Wayne Rooney
Steven Gerrard
Liverpool

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