Football

Capello set for Hodgson talks

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Fabio Capello is happy to defend his decision to keep Steven Gerrard on the pitch at Wembley on Wednesday despite indicating to Liverpool he would take the midfielder off after an hour.

Changing circumstances in the form of first-half injuries to Rio Ferdinand and Gareth Barry meant Gerrard ploughed on into the latter stages of a 2-1 defeat, eventually suffering the hamstring injury that will keep him out for a month.

Capello intends to speak with Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson to extend his sympathy, but said: "I will speak with him (Hodgson). But to explain what? Afterwards he will be either happy or not happy. I know this because Steven is a really important player."

He added: Injuries can happen. We were trying to win the game, he is really important and we had a lot of injuries in midfield. That is why he stayed on the pitch."

Gerrard's injury was the low point of a largely depressing evening, when England's personnel failed and their tactics were a throwback to the bad old days of long ball.

None of this is the fault of Newcastle's Andy Carroll, who impressed on his debut, but clearly there are a number of issues to address, including the demands of playing for England.

"In the first-half we played with fear and without confidence," said Capello.

"I know these players are at big clubs but the England shirt is different. Absolutely different.

"We hope it will change. But for this you need players with experience and ones who have played more games."

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Topics:
Internationals
Football
Premier League
Steven Gerrard
Liverpool

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