Capello - We play to win

England coach says team have made strides since World Cup

By James Riach.   Last Updated: 06/10/11 7:20pm

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The England coach, Fabio Capello, has warned it would be dangerous to play for a draw against Montenegro on Friday night.

England only need one point to qualify for next year's European Championships and a stalemate in Podgorica would see them advance to the finals in Poland and Ukraine.

Montenegro still have an outside chance of outright qualification, although they will rest three of their eight players who are one yellow card away from a suspension, with an eye on the upcoming game with Switzerland and the battle for second spot in Group G.

Capello admits it will be tough for his side as the home crowd will create a hostile atmosphere, and insists England will play for the victory.

He said: "It would be a big mistake if we play for the draw. We need to play to win and I think the players understand that we need to play the same style that we have away from England.

"Here it will be a different game. I know the spirit of this Montenegro team. It will be a tough game.

"The fans here are important. They are really noisy and help the team a lot. But they don't play, we play."

On Montenegro's decision to rest players, Capello said: "They probably think the game against Switzerland is more important. But even with a yellow card you can play with the same spirit."

The Italian confirmed that either Phil Jones or Kyle Walker would receive their first cap due to an injury to Chris Smalling, and declared that he was still undecided on who would partner Wayne Rooney as a second forward.


Capello believes that England have made big strides since their World Cup disappointment of last year and was especially positive about his team's form away from home.

"We play better away because it is easy for us to find the space and attack the space. Our forwards are really fast and really good technically," he said.

"Away we play really compact and we play with a fantastic spirit.

"When we started the qualification we arrived from a bad World Cup. The most important thing is that the young players are getting experience.

"They have improved a lot and will be ready to play at the Euros next summer."

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