Cape Town: Bewildered England coach Fabio
Capello said he was mystified by the dismal performance of his
team in the 0-0 draw with Algeria which has seriously damaged
their World Cup dream.
Yesterday`s result followed on from the opening 1-1
stalemate against the United States.
England, tipped as one of the favourites for the title at
the start of the tournament, must now defeat Group C leaders
Slovenia in their last game on Wednesday in Port Elizabeth to
make the last 16.
"This is not the team I recognise from training or from
qualifying," said Capello after another below-par display from
his highly-rated side.
"We missed too many passes, lost too many balls. It was
not a good game. We have to do better.
"It was incredible the mistakes we made. It was
incredible for the level of the England players.
"We have another game to play. It`s our last chance to
continue in the tournament. The players know what they have to
Capello hinted that the squad is beginning to feel the
strain of trying to deliver England`s first World Cup since
their first and only triumph in 1966.
"Probably it`s the pressure. We need to get to the ball
quicker," added Capello.
"It`s not just a question of one player. It`s the team.
We can change the tactics if we have to but we have to do
With the United States and Slovenia drawing 2-2 earlier
Friday, Group C is finely poised.
Slovenia have four points, with England and the USA on
two and Algeria have one.
"We`re not happy with the performance, we need more if we
want to stay in this tournament to the later stages, we need
to improve," said captain Steven Gerrard.
"We weren`t good enough in the final third to get the
"We know the job we`ve got to do, we`ve got to go and win
the last game and that adds more pressure, but to play at this
level you`ve got to handle it, you`ve got to play under
"We weren`t at our level today, it`s not good enough."
Striker Wayne Rooney showed his frustration as he trudged
off the field to the jeers of disgruntled England supporters,
saying to a TV camera: "It`s nice to see your own fans booing
Man-of-the-match Ashley Cole said it was fortunate the
United States and Slovenia also only drew on Friday, leaving
the group finely poised.
"It could have been worse," said the Chelsea defender.
"It`s lucky the USA got a draw today. Now we need to pick
ourselves up and get ready for Wednesday which is a big game
"I`m still confident in our ability and we should win on
Wednesday. But we know we need to improve and it is down to us
Algerian midfielder Ryad Boudebouz said England had been
complacent - and insisted his side were capable of beating the
"We are pleased with the draw as the English
underestimated us in the media over recent days," he said.
"We were determined to show them we were not just here
for the ride and that we have a decent team.”
"Now we have to play the United States and if we know if
we play like we did tonight we can beat them."