Football

Capello taking nothing for granted

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Fabio Capello has warned his England players it would be a mistake to play for a draw in Montenegro next month.

Capello was already aware England needed to avoid defeat in Podgorica on October 7 to book their place at Euro 2012 before Tuesday's win over Wales, but the scrappy nature of a 1-0 success against the world's 117th-ranked team has brought a renewed sense of focus to that challenge.

However, whilst Capello would doubtless accept a point, there is no way he intends to play for one, saying: "We can't do that. This would be a mistake, we need to try and beat them. It will be a really tough game, the atmosphere will be very warm and I hope, when we get there, our players will be in top form."

England did provide themselves with a safety net on Wednesday. Should the worst happen, and England slip to defeat in what will be Capello's last official qualifier as Three Lions coach, Switzerland could bale them out in Basel four days later, when Montenegro will also have to win.

"Montenegro need to beat us and Switzerland away," said Capello. "That will not be easy, so I think we can be more relaxed when we go to play them."

It was an important psychological point for Capello to make. After all, his side seems to be afflicted by some kind of mental trauma on home soil just now. What appeared a relatively simple task to end a four-game winless streak at Wembley once Ashley Young had scored prior to half-time turned into severe test of nerve.

"We played too slowly," said Capello. "The passes went back, not forward. There was not a lot of dribbling and not a lot of movement behind the ball. We had good positions but we need to do more."

It was a depressing performance coming so soon after the invention of Sofia last Friday. Young's goal elevated him above the general malaise but few emerged with any credit and, rather than generate more forward momentum, the introductions of Frank Lampard and James Milner halted England's momentum.

"I always want three players in front of goal but there was only one," complained Capello. "All the team played the same level: moments well, some moments not well, some moments with confidence, others without.

"It wasn't a good performance. In the last 15 minutes there was pressure on us to get a result and we suffered."

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