Friday, June 18, 2010
06/18/2010 Capello leaves goalkeepers in the dark

• Robert Green waits to learn if he has been forgiven
• West Ham goalkeeper endures nervous training session

Robert Green has been left on tenterhooks as to whether he will have the opportunity to redeem himself against Algeria tomorrow nightafter Fabio Capello steadfastly refused to shift from his policy of naming his team until two hours before kick-off.

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"I picked Green because he was in a good moment [of form] and had played very well in that first half of our friendly against Mexico at Wembley. But the real problem for the goalkeepers here is the ball: sometimes the bounce is higher than normal. We will decide."

Capello rotated his three goalkeepers during the training game that followed their evening session at the stadium but, when the trio stayed behind to undertake kicking practice, Joe Hart and David James were stationed at one end of the ground with Green, effectively doing twice the work, at the other while the coaching staff looked on.

Asked whether it was not harmful not to confirm his goalkeeper choice until the day of the game, Capello, who turns 64 tomorrow said: "No. Why would it be? All the players are ready and focused. There are no problems. I've always done it this way, it's my way, and I'd prefer not to change.

"Actually, not always. In my first year in management [at Milan] I used to tell the players if they were selected or not the day before, after dinner. But, three times that year there was an injury or an illness the next day, and someone else had to play. So I stopped. I have not done it since."

Emile Heskey will also await confirmation of his starting place after the manager admitted he has considered selecting Jermain Defoe against Algeria in a bid to encourage England to play a shorter passing style. The Aston Villa forward played alongside Wayne Rooney in tonight's training though, rather surprisingly, he sat out the final shooting session before the players retired.

"Heskey and Rooney played very well together [against the USA]," said Capello. "I can change the style of the forwards with Defoe, but I think Heskey is a very important player for the movement of the team. Defoe is also important, like the other players, but I was happy with the game against the USA for everything I saw apart from the result.

"It is important we take our chances in this match. We have been speaking about how impressed we have been with Argentina today but, remember, when the score was 2-1, South Korea had a big chance to equalise. At 2-2 we wouldn't be speaking about Argentina in the same way. This is football. You have to score goals when you are playing well. We were playing very well [against the USA] and our midfield were getting chances at every moment, but they scored. Not us. In the end, the scoreline is the most important thing. Everything else is just words."

Only Ledley King was absent from training tonight â€" the Tottenham Hotspur defender will be out for up to three weeks with a groin injury â€" with Jamie Carragher to replace him today. Gareth Barry will also be included. The absent captain, Rio Ferdinand, will only return to South Africa if England progress to the latter stages of the tournament, and only then with the blessing of Manchester United's medical staff as he continues his rehabilitation from a knee injury.

The mood among the players remains bullish, with England hoping to establish their authority on the tournament in Cape Town. "We have to push on now and show our qualities," said Steven Gerrard. "We wanted to win the first game and were disappointed to come away with only one point, but the dangerous thing now would be underestimate Algeria and think this is a guaranteed three points.

\\ "But I think we 're ready to invest in a sharp performance.

We didn't click for the whole 90 minutes against the USA. Hopefully we will in this match and, if we do, everyone will be a lot more positive after the game. Hopefully we'll go strong and get a convincing win."

Dominic Fifield ? Guardian News & Media Limited 2010 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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