England – Kazakhstan: “Fans will help us”

England manager Fabio Capello has issued a rallying cry to the Wembley fans ahead of tomorrow's World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan.

Capello has got off to the perfect start as Three Lions boss, beating Andorra 3-0 and crushing Croatia 4-1 in Zagreb in his first two competitive games.

But after confirming that skipper John Terry has been ruled out with a back injury, meaning Rio Ferdinand will take the armband, the Italian has told England's fans they will be key against the world's 131st-ranked team.

"The crowd must help the team a lot," said Capello, who will be looking for his side to keep up their 100 per cent record in Group Six before Wednesday's testing clash with Belarus in Minsk.

"They must be patient, and at this moment I believe the fans will help us 100 per cent. I remember the old Wembley when the crowd got behind the team and we need this.

"It is possible we may not score early goals and you must get behind us."

And Capello has admitted it is vital that England build on last month's stunning victory in Zagreb, which was inspired by a hat-trick from Arsenal wonderkid Theo Walcott.

But although he admits he knows little about a Kazakhstan team in transition, Capello is delighted to have the likes of Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard - who missed the Croatia game - back at full fitness once again.

"I am very happy with the performance against Croatia, but it's only three points, and we have to win tomorrow," he said.

"That win was very important for the group, the team, the spirit and the confidence. I think tomorrow we will play with more confidence because of that.

"But it's not an easy game. Kazakhstan have got a new manager, and he has changed seven of their players. I have studied their team, but I don't know anything about them!"

He added: "But we have Steven Gerrard back, who is very important both for us and Liverpool, and he's a fantastic player.

"He can score goals, make good passes and assists. He's a good player and I'm very happy he's back with us."

Source: FA


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