Terry will lead England against US footballers
Thursday, 29 May 2008

AFP, LONDON COLNEY - John Terry has been restored as England captain for Wednesday's friendly against the United States at Wembley.

England coach Fabio Capello confirmed Terry will lead the team for the first time since the Italian took charge.

Rio Ferdinand captained England in their last match against France in Paris and Steven Gerrard skippered the side in Capello's first match with Switzerland when Terry was injured.

Now Terry, who was captain under Steve McClaren, finally has the chance to earn the armband on a permanent basis ahead of next season's World Cup qualifiers.

Capello wouldn't confirm if Terry will also lead his country in Sunday's friendly against Trinidad and Tobago in Port of Spain.

But it is a much-needed boost for Terry, whose missed penalty cost Chelsea the chance to win the Champions League against Manchester United last week.

"The captain is John Terry. I decided before the Champions League final. We have had Steven Gerrard, Rio Ferdinand and now John as captain," Capello said.

"At this moment it is a good decision for John after a not nice experience on Wednesday.

"I told him he would be the captain and he was very happy. It is very important to be a leader and John is a leader."

After the agony of losing the Champions League to United on penalties, Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole and Wayne Bridge arrived at England's training camp in Hertfordshire at a low ebb.

Capello will try to lift the spirits of the Chelsea stars and is keen to use Lampard for the first time after the midfielder missed England's last two matches through injury.

"It is very important that the Chelsea players play with the national team so they can forget the last game in Moscow. I plan to use all the Chelsea players in these two games," he said.

Los Angeles Galaxy star David Beckham is also in the squad after winning his 100th cap against France and Capello praised the midfielder's fitness following the start of the Major League Soccer season.

"He's very fresh, like USA's players," Capello said. "They've just started the season. The future is good for him, there's no problem. He's very fit."
However Capello, who was speaking to the media in English for the first time at his pre-match briefing, has no intention of taking it easy on his troops, even at the end of a draining campaign.

He has been working them hard with double training sessions and insisted there have been no complaints, despite reports that some players were privately unhappy with such a gruelling regime.

"We want to recover their minds and bodies after 10 days holidays but the players have worked very well," Capello said."

While players and fans maybe planning their holidays, Capello sees the 10-day get-together as an invaluable chance to get his message across to the squad.

After these games the Italian believes he will have a good idea of the team he will use to start next season's first World Cup qualifier against Andorra.

"The two friendlies are very important because I will know what I think about every position after these games," he said.

"It will be a strong game. I saw their three games and the United States scored seven goals, with only two conceded.

"They have good organisation and are very fast on the counter-attack. They are scored a lot of goals from free-kicks and corners because they jump very well."

"I think it is a very important test for us. They are very fresh. For us it will be important to play at a high level.

"I am happy and afraid because nine players were not with me at the start of the camp because they played in the Champions League final. I was happy for the players but not for me

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