Capello the key for Terry
Two senior England players believe that Fabio Capello has dramatically improved the country's fortunes.
By Richard Bailey
Last Updated: 21/11/08 1:23pm
Two of England's senior players believe that manager Fabio Capello is the main reason behind the country's recent good form after just 12 months in charge.
England captain John Terry and goalkeeper David James declared that it was the Italian's hard line approach which was behind the squad's improved results, but it hasn't all been plain sailing.
Earlier into Capello's reign his side were booed off after a 2-2 draw against Czech Republic at Wembley, with many supporters disillusioned with international football following Steve McClaren's dismal time in charge.
Yet the former Real Madrid boss stuck to his guns and Terry is adamant that the manager's single mindedness and rigorous work ethic are behind England's recent success.
He said: "We've evolved brilliantly under the new manager from day one.
"In our first and second games we got caught on the counter-attack and he showed us a video, slowed the video down and told us we weren't working hard enough for each other.
"People were running past us and it was disappointing to watch. After we saw that, we knew we had to work a lot harder for each other.
"The quality has always been there, but if you have the work rate to match, we'll have a good future.
"You're looking at a different side now from 12 months ago.
"It's been a good year but myself and the more experienced lads will make sure we all keep our feet on the ground."
Despite the squad's up-turn in fortunes Terry admits that the manager still lets his players know when they are not up to scratch, particularly in training.
He said: "He's given the team a few b********* and more so in training. We definitely got a kick up the backside on Tuesday.
"We weren't playing too well, the ball kept running out of play and we were looking at each other.
"He looked at me a couple of times as if to say, 'Sort it out.' He keeps everyone on their toes and at the top of their game.
"The manager is straightforward. When he has something to say, he says it and doesn't beat around the bush.
"In training and after the game he says his piece. He gets it across really clearly. Early on he took his time and yet he's worked hard on his English and tactically he's spot on. He's very good on the training pitch."
Capello's track record speaks for itself and it now appears he is applying it to the international stage with England.
The 62-year-old has led England to four successive World Cup qualifying wins. The impressive start is the best ever to a qualifying campaign made by an England side.
Victory in Germany with a weakened team only endeared Capello to the English public further on Wednesday.
Goalkeeper David James is another who has been impressed with Capello and admits that the manager doesn't even have to open his mouth to get his message across.
He said: "He's not a shouter or a quiet one. It's a steely glare and you take it as read that you need to change it.
"His English isn't the best but he says what he means and the beauty of it is that there's no ambiguity. That's what we've needed."