Capello sees positives in Graz
Sunday, 30 May, 2010
England Manager sees improvements in final Three Lions warm-up.
Fabio Capello admitted he learned a lot about his side and was much happier with their second-half performance than the first as the Three Lions came from behind to beat Japan in their final World Cup warm-up game.
England recovered from Tulio Tanaka’s sixth-minute goal when the same player put through his own goal in the 72nd minute, and then Yuji Nakazawa put Ashley Cole’s cross past his own keeper ten minutes later to seal a morale-boosting victory for the Three Lions before they fly to South Africa.
And Capello was the first to admit things improved hugely after the break: “I am happy for the second half performance. I think we played better, faster, we found space. In the first half we played too slow, it was easy for Japan to defend.”
The coach was also pleased with the performance of Joe Cole in the hole behind Wayne Rooney in the second half.
“Joe Cole is an intelligent player, he can play in different positions. I tried to play Wayne like a first forward, like a number nine. He can play number ten, too.
“It was an interesting game for me, I saw a lot of players that I didn’t know before and I learned more. In the first half I saw the spirit of the team, because in every tackle they wanted to win the ball. This is an important quality in the team.”
He was also able to see Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard play together in central midfield for the first time. “They have never played together in midfield for me, but they played very well. They are really good players, fast and with quality. Sometimes possibly they go forward to shoot. I am really happy for this.”
And even though Lampard missed a penalty early in the second half, he will still be first-choice penalty taker. “Lampard will be the first player to take them.”
But he would not be drawn on his final choice of 23 players, which will be announced on Tuesday. “There will be no decision before June 1,” he added.
“I know the 23 – but you have to wait.”
Gareth Barry still has a chance to make that final 23 if he can prove he is likely to recover from his ankle problem in the next fortnight. “I hope he will be fit. We have to wait for the doctors to check. After that we will decide if he goes to South Africa with us.”