London: England football team manager Fabio Capello has told young players like Chris Smalling that they must have pride in the Three Lions if they are to succeed as international footballers.
Smalling is expected to make his international debut in Monday’s Euro 2012 qualifier against Bulgaria in London.
“It is important for the players who stay with us to be proud to wear the English shirt. I was proud to wear the Italian shirt and I would stay if I played in the first XI or as a reserve,” a leading daily quoted Capello, as saying.
“If the players prefer to stay at home, go on holiday, stay with their families, I respect them, but I need to select a squad and I need to decide the first XI. I need to decide the players who will be on the bench and in the stand,” he added.
He further warned that if the players want to stay in the England squad, they must also respect him as the manager and respect his choice.
“If these people don’t like to stay here, then, thank you very much, it’s your choice. I won’t like to speak to people who don’t want to stay with the national team. They have decided. Everyone is free to decide about their life,” Capello said.
Capello’s words were aimed in the direction of goalkeeper Ben Foster who has made himself unavailable for international football.