Fabio - England are committed
Fabio Capello insists he has no doubts over the motivation of his England side to represent their country.
Last Updated: 08/02/11 5:41pm
Manager Fabio Capello insists he has no doubts over the motivation of his England side to represent their country.
Questions have been raised over certain players' commitment to their international duties following another raft of high-profile withdrawals from the squad to face Denmark in a friendly in Copenhagen on Wednesday.
Key players such as Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand and Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard are among those to have pulled out of Capello's line-up due to injury, prompting talk that club now takes precedence over country.
But Italian manager Capello is adamant the dedication of his players remains at the highest level.
"I never saw this," said Capello. "All the players that played with England, they try to do the best for us in every moment.
"I think this team have found every time a good spirit and I am really happy with these players and the players that played before.
"Sometimes people don't see or can't understand that they played with pride, but the performance every time is 100 per cent. Sometimes 100% is not enough (to win)."
Suggestions have emerged that Premier League clubs are reluctant to allow their players to go on international duty, with Liverpool expressing their irritation when captain Steven Gerrard picked up a hamstring injury during England's friendly defeat to France late last year.
But Capello insists that is not the case, and that he has a healthy rapport with the top-flight clubs, adding: "The relationship is really, really good.
"I haven't got a problem with the clubs or the managers. When I've spoken to them about some players, they help me every time."
Capello has named Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard to captain England on Wednesday night, while Arsenal youngster Jack Wilshere will line up beside him in the middle of the park.
The manager will ask Wilshere to play a more defensive role than he has in the past, and he is confident the 19-year-old is ready.
He said: "In the last two months he has improved a lot with his confidence and also the confidence of the other players like Cesc Fabregas and (Andrey) Arshavin when he has the ball."
Capello also confirmed that Aston Villa record signing Darren Bent, who arrived at Villa Park from Sunderland last month, will start the game, adding: "I have watched two games he has played for Aston Villa.
"When he was with Sunderland he played a different style because the manager asked him to stay close to the box and be fresh to score goals, but now he runs a lot more, presses a lot because the team play with a different style.
"He played well before but if you want to play with the seniors at this moment you have to be good when you go forward but also when you have to win the ball back and I think he has improved a lot."