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Sport

Battered England to hold crisis talks

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-06-20

England defender John Terry said players would not refrain from criticising coach Fabio Capello (pictured) as they meet for crisis talks Sunday evening to put their flagging World Cup campaign back on track.

REUTERS - England players and management will have a no-holds barred crisis meeting later on Sunday to put their World Cup campaign back on track, central defender John Terry said.

England, one of the pre-tournament favourites, need to beat Slovenia in their final Group C match on Wednesday to be sure of a second round place following an abject 0-0 draw with Algeria.

Terry said he expected a frank exchange of views even if players or manager Fabio Capello did not want to hear some of the opinions following the disappointing draws with Algeria on Friday and the U.S. (1-1) six days earlier.

"The meeting tonight is to watch the whole game to see where we went wrong, which is probably the whole 93 minutes actually!" he told reporters on Sunday. "As a group of players we owe it to ourselves and to the country back home.

"There is no point, if we feel we have problems, in keeping it in -- whether we have an argument with the manager, or it upsets him. It is us expressing our feelings -- and everyone needs to get it off their chests.

"Tactics? I'm not saying now -- that is for tonight's meeting." 

Cramped style

Terry, seen in some quarters as one of the leaders of a plot to force Capello to abandon his strict adherence to a rigid 4-4-2 system that has cramped England's style, said he represented the players and the team.

He dismissed reports of disharmony, and rebellion, and declared the team were "fully behind the manager" before adding that if the issues raised upset anyone, it did not matter.

"We are a group of experienced players and we owe it to ourselves and the country.

"If we feel that things need to be changed, then everyone has to voice their opinion and, as I said, if it upsets him (Capello) or another player, then so what?"

Terry described how Capello "kicks and throws things around in the dressing room", but refuted the idea that England's players were frozen by fear.

"There is fear, naturally, at all levels of the game, but once you cross the white line, you are focussed on the job in hand. Fear is not a factor. It's no excuse. We just have not done it.

"Now we have one game to make, or break, our tournament. It's been three or four weeks now that I've been away from my kids and the family, but I just told the lads 'I don't want to go home on Wednesday -- I am here to stay and win it'."

It is not the first time an England World Cup campaign has seen the players confront a manager.

Much the same happened to Bobby Robson in both 1986 and 1990, when England were re-shaped by tactical changes, and went on to reach the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively.

This time, if persuaded to reconsider, Capello will switch to a 4-1-3-2 system with Joe Cole brought in on the left of midfield with licence to create chances.

"Joe (Cole) is one of these players who gives everything," said Terry. "I think him, and Wayne, are the only two we have who can open things up. They are the key to breaking down defences."

 

Date created : 2010-06-20

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