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FOOTBALL - ENGLAND

Capello ended national team's 'funfair' culture, says FA boss

2 min

England's FA chairman Lord Triesman reckons Capello's best achievement was to restore order in the national squad by ending the "funfair" culture surrounding the team -- and bringing about a rare series of successive wins in World Cup qualifiers.

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AFP - Football Association chairman Lord Triesman believes Fabio Capello's most significant achievement since taking charge of England has been to destroy the "funfair" culture surrounding the team.

Capello rules the England set-up with a no-nonsense mentality that has stripped away the excesses of Steve McClaren's reign.

Under McClaren, and his predecessor Sven Goran Eriksson, England's players were allowed to become far too comfortable on international duty, with wives, girlfriends and agents following them everywhere.

But in his first 12 months in charge Capello has laid down the law by banning all hangers-on from England's hotel.

After a slow start, the Italian has convinced the players to buy into his philosophy.

The results have been impressive. Four successive World Cup qualifying victories, including a superb away win in Croatia, were followed by a friendly triumph over Germany in Berlin last month.

Triesman is delighted with the progress under Capello and he said: "Fabio has been absolutely brilliant. His seriousness is so transparent. He does everything in a meticulous way and the distractions are not there.

"There is a sense that the players are being treated as serious athletes. It isn't all a funfair. They react really well to that.

"You don't have to spend more than three minutes in his company to know that when he says he is going to do something, he will really set about it and is not going to put up with second best."

England are firmly on course to reach the 2010 World Cup but Triesman insists Capello won't relax because he wants to turn the team into serious contenders to win the tournament in South Africa.

"We are in a good position in our group, that is self-evident," Triesman said.

"But you never get the sense from Fabio that he thinks a job is over if it only is half done.

"He will see this through to the very last match. There will be absolutely no give in that attitude and the players love it.

"They all feel like winners and I don't quite know when the England side last felt like that."

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