England coming good for Capello

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Football News

Fabio Capello believes England are hitting top form at just the right time.

After a stuttering start to their World Cup campaign, the Three Lions produced an improved performance to beat Slovenia 1-0 to set up a last-16 encounter with Germany on Sunday.

"Against Slovenia we did really very well in every area of the pitch," said Capello. "The positions we took up were very good. We won back the ball and played quickly.

"The passing was really dangerous and we switched the ball quickly. In the other games we lost the ball a lot but this time we managed to keep hold of it. Overall I am very happy."

How much part Wayne Rooney plays in the build-up remains to be seen.

The Manchester United striker has struggled in South Africa and does not look to be over the ankle injury he sustained on Champions League duty in Munich. Another kick on the problem area on Wednesday did not help either and eventually led to him being replaced.

The England camp have stressed their belief that Rooney will be available to face Germany, although how much training he does in the meantime is debatable.

However, given it is inconceivable that Capello would contemplate leaving Rooney out, few changes are expected against Germany, with James Milner doing more than enough to keep his place.

Substituted after only half an hour of the opening game, the Aston Villa man must have feared his contribution in South Africa was at an end.

But the 24-year-old has always been one of Capello's favourites and was the go-to man when the Italian decided he wanted more solidity on the right than Aaron Lennon could provide.

"I decided on Milner because we needed the extra movement when we didn't have the ball," said Capello. "He created space for Glen Johnson and, overall, played very well."

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


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