Capello demands more focus from England players

Last Updated: Sunday, September 6, 2009 - 11:34

London: England coach Fabio Capello was unhappy with the way his team conceded a late goal in their 2-1 friendly win over Slovenia on Saturday, saying they had to concentrate for the full 90 minutes in every match.
England were 2-0 ahead with five minutes to play and easing to victory despite a laboured performance at Wembley when they allowed Slovenia a consolation goal through Zlatan Ljubijankic whose near-post diving header beat goalkeeper Robert Green.

"I was quite pleased with the performance, but I was not happy with the last four or five minutes," said Capello.

"I want players to be focused and to concentrate from the first minute to the last but we played too slow, we played the long ball, it was not the style I like."

England will qualify for the World Cup in South Africa next year if they beat Croatia in a Group Six qualifier on Wednesday and that match will be played at a completely different pace to Saturday`s warm-up which resembled a training game in patches.

Capello still saw value in the performance, though, saying: "I was pleased overall. Slovenia are a good team, with very fast strikers. They play similarly to Croatia and I learnt a lot from this game."

Dubious Penalty

England won after a dubious penalty for what Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson judged to be a foul by defender Bostjan Cesar on Wayne Rooney after 31 minutes which Frank Lampard converted.

Substitute Jermain Defoe continued his recent scoring spree with his third England goal this season -- and his seventh in total this term -- with a 63rd minute strike but Capello would not say if he would be in the starting lineup on Wednesday.

The Italian, who is likely to stick to his preferred first choice pairing of Emile Heskey and Rooney, added: "He (Defoe) always scores when he comes on in the second half."

Slovenia coach Matjaz Kek was unhappy about the penalty but more concerned about the injury to Cesar that preceded it.

"This match proved to be a real test before our qualifier against Poland (in Group Three) on Wednesday but although I am disappointed about the penalty, these things happen in football.”

"But I am more angry over the injury to Cesar. I`m not angry with Rooney, I`m angry the injury happened in a friendly.”

"We have probably lost him for Wednesday`s match.”

"He has had an x-ray and there is no break but the ankle is very swollen. We will see if he can play," he added.

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First Published: Sunday, September 6, 2009 - 11:34

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