Capello: we play better away

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Football News

England coach Fabio Capello believes playing away from Wembley can have its advantages.

His team, who along with Montenegro top Group G with nine points from five games, resume their bid to qualify for next summer's European Championships on Friday with a match against Bulgaria in Sofia and have impressed since last year's World Cup with victories in all matches away from home, the qualifiers against Wales and Switzerland and a friendly in Denmark.

And Capello told a press conference broadcast on Sky Sports News: "Sometimes the players find it difficult to play against teams but away we can play with more space and attack that space with fast players. Sometimes we play better away from home."

On Friday's opponents, who are six points off the pace and look unlikely to reach next summer's Championships, Capello said: "Bulgaria are playing well at the moment. I watched the game against Montenegro (in September, which Bulgaria lost 1-0) and they played really well."

Despite the lack of experienced cover for goalkeeper Joe Hart, Capello says he was not tempted to recall West Brom's Ben Foster after the latter ruled himself out of contention earlier this year, while still with parent club Birmingham.

"You need to be proud to stay here, the players I select always must be sure they want to play," the Italian said. "I selected 25 players this time and I picked the first XI, the substitutes and the others who wanted to stay. It's important for the players that stay here to be proud to wear the England shirt."

Manchester United's Tom Cleverley, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are all included after making impressive starts to the season at Old Trafford - and Capello admitted they would have been joined by club-mate Danny Welbeck had he not suffered a hamstring injury against Arsenal on Sunday.

"I think with the young players, they need to be playing in the Premier League, if you don't play or you play lower it is difficult," he said. "I played Welbeck in the friendly against Ghana and he played well. He is now playing with Manchester United, he is not here because he is injured.

"For young players it is important to play in the Premier League and to play really important games, games where you need to win always to stay at the top."

Owen Hargreaves has returned to the Premier League, with the 42-cap midfielder joining Manchester City having been released by United at the end of last season following a horrendous run of injuries, and Capello added: "I hope he will be really good in the short-term for Manchester City and also for England. After the knee problems he didn't play for two years, we need to wait."

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

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Chris Smalling
West Bromwich Albion
Ben Foster
Joe Hart
Manchester City
Phil Jones
Premier League
Danny Welbeck
Manchester United
Owen Hargreaves
Tom Cleverley

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