Thursday, 7 February 2008

Capello makes winning debut

Fabio Capello got his England reign off to a winning start against Euro 2008 co-hosts Switzerland in London.

Playing in a 4-5-1 formation, England started slowly in Wednesday's friendly. But midfielder Joe Cole sparked them into life shortly before the interval when he skipped down the left and crossed for Jermaine Jenas to open the scoring.

Switzerland levelled when Eren Derdiyok fired home after the break, but captain Steven Gerrard set up Shaun Wright-Phillips to score from close range on 62 minutes.

England failed to find the net again despite bossing the later stages, but the victory was enough to satisfy the majority of the 86,857 that turned up at Wembley Stadium.

Former AC Milan, Roma and Juventus coach Capello knows how much work there is to be done to convert England into a real force on the international stage, but he was encouraged by a display that dramatically improved in quality as the game wore on.

"I think we did some very good things and created many chances - the players did very well," he said.

"They were nervous at the start because there is pressure playing at Wembley and we need to take that off them. But it was important to see the team get back together and see them play well and there were lots of positives."

Capello said Switzerland's seven substitutions had not helped his team, but said England kept their concentration well.

The Italian added: "There are obviously things we need to improve on, but they scored with their first real chance so we did not do too much wrong.

"I didn't see a lack of concentration from the players at the end - they subbed seven so they were fresher, but they still struggled to create chances.

"It was good to be at Wembley, you always feel emotions here.

"I saw the players play with their clubs and wanted to see if they could do the same things under the pressure of Wembley and they did very well."

With no competative games until the 2010 World Cup qualifiers begin in September, the players will get another chance to impress when England take on France in Paris on March 26.

Source: BBC

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