Terry ready for tough tie
By Nicholas Veevers in Cardiff
Friday, 25 March, 2011
John Terry won't underestimate talented Welsh in 'huge derby'.
England captain John Terry believes Saturday’s ‘derby’ match with Wales gives the squad a chance to make up for the disappointment of their draw with Montenegro in the last competitive game and put the Three Lions back on top of their group.
Ever since the 0-0 draw at Wembley last October, England have been waiting for the opportunity to put things right for the supporters and Terry sees no better chance than a game with their near neighbours.
"It's a huge derby for us and for the travelling fans,” said the Chelsea defender.
“The players realise the importance of the game and we're determined to get the result tomorrow.
“We’re playing for our country and we know that everybody is sitting there and watching us, believing in us and supporting us. We believe we have the qualities and I don’t think it’s a fear thing, but more of a fear of failure and that’s something that we don’t want to do. We don’t want to let our fans down and we don’t want to let our families down.
“It hurts when people say we don’t care. I see it first hand, in World Cups and European Championships after losing games at this level. You see the disappointment on people’s faces and you don’t get a word out of some players for four or five hours after games as they might go back to their rooms and console themselves.
“One thing is for sure, we will give it everything we can throughout the whole campaign to get to those Championships.”
Despite Gary Speed’s team making a slow start to their qualifying campaign, Terry knows that England go into the game as firm favourites but is also fully wary of the threat that Wales carry having played against most of their players on a domestic level.
With a fast-paced game expected at the Millennium Stadium, Terry feels it will be just like a Premier League encounter and the only thing on England minds now is going back across the border with three points in hand.
"A win for us is a must,” he admitted. “We know they're bottom of the group and they've not had the best of starts but we see them as a dangerous side. They have some really talented young players coming through who will be there for a long time. We realise it’s going to be a tough game and we must be up for it from the word go.
“Everyone is expecting us to win, but we’re certainly not feeling like that. They’ll be very difficult to break down and dangerous going forward with the likes of Bellamy, so we know it won’t be easy.
“Regardless of their ranking and our ranking, sometimes the best teams don’t always win but if we fight and show the same hunger as them, we have the quality to win and hopefully that prevails in the end.”
Whilst Capello has confirmed that Jack Wilshere will start the game in midfield, a decision that Terry fully endorses, the rest of the team are still waiting to hear the line-up with a fully fit squad all fighting for their place.
"We've got a good week’s training under our belts,” revealed Terry. “All the players are fit and we haven't had any injuries or niggles so we go into the game fully fit.
“We’re all fighting for our places and there’s been a hunger in the training and a hunger in the dressing room. We’re a little bit on edge to see what side the Manager is going to pick but we will respect his decision and get on with it because it’s not about individuals, it’s about the team and winning the game tomorrow.”
Terry also reserved praise for Wilshere, whose form with Arsenal in both the Premier League and Champions League has seen him progress rapidly through the England junior teams to become one of Capello’s most highly regarded players.
"I played against him while he was on loan at Bolton and for someone so small, he's strong, with the ability to glide past people and he has a great turn of pace with an amazing left foot,” he said.
"Game after game he's turning into a very good player. He certainly has the qualities to deal with the pressure and has confidence in himself and certainly the quality.
“When you see him playing against some of the best midfielders in the world like Xavi and Iniesta, I’m excited as a fan of England to see that.”