Capello jumps to defence of England

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Fabio Capello defended his England side after they slumped to a disappointing goalless draw in their European Championship qualifier against Montenegro at Wembley.

England should have had a penalty when Montenegro defender Milan Jovanovic clearly handled the ball in the second half but the same player then rattled the England crossbar minutes later with a savagely dipping 20-yard volley.

The draw leaves England three points behind leaders Montenegro in Group G, albeit with a game in hand.

"I am a fighter. It is one game. We have to fight again. I think we are a good team. The goalkeeper was the best player for Montenegro. This is football," said Capello.

"You have to respect little countries. They have good players. At this moment they are psychologically at a high moment having won three games.

"They were compact. The quality was good. Against Algeria (at the World Cup) we didn't create a lot of chances. But this time we did create chances."

Capello refused to criticise the referee for not awarding a penalty and also defended Wayne Rooney, who missed two chances and again looked out of sorts.

Capello said: ``Rooney played a normal game. He had two chances and twice the goalkeeper was very good, the second save was a fantastic save. We created four clear chances to score goals.''

Capello conceded that the next game against Wales in March will be crucial in a group where only the winner qualifies automatically.

"The next game is really important against Wales," he added. "But every game in this group will be tough."

When asked if the struggle against Montenegro would make him question his decision to continue after the World Cup shambles, he replied: "Absolutely no. This is my job. It is one game. When we finish the qualification it will have told you something about that."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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