Capello defends goalkeeper delay

13 June 2010 08:19

Fabio Capello defended his decision not to name his goalkeeper until a couple of hours before kick-off after seeing Robert Green make a howler in the 1-1 draw against the United States in England's opening World Cup encounter.

Green fumbled a 25-yard shot from Clint Dempsey and watched the ball spin behind him and trickle agonisingly over the line. It stopped England in their tracks after they had got off to the best possible start with a goal from captain Steven Gerrard in the fourth minute.

"No, absolutely not," he said. "I decided Green would be the goalkeeper because he played the last game very well and at Wembley (against Mexico) the performance was very good too. He made one mistake, but in the second half he made a good save. This is the problem of the goalkeeper."

He added: "We have to accept the mistakes of goalkeepers and of referees and of forwards. This is football."

Capello, however, refused to say whether he would stand by Green against Algeria, saying: "We have time to decide and to speak with him and I will decide."

The England manager also substituted James Milner after half an hour, bringing on Shaun Wright-Phillips, explaining that he was worried the Aston Villa midfielder would get sent off after receiving an early yellow card.

But Capello insisted: "We played a good match and created a lot of chances. But the result is not okay for us. We played better than USA but the USA are very good. I saw the spirit of England and the team. They fight every time to win back the ball.

"I am not worried for the next game about their physical condition. We ran better in the second half than the USA. But now we have to look forward for the next game."

They will have to do so without King whose injury-prone body was always a gamble for Capello.

On Wayne Rooney's performance, Capello said: "I think his movement was good. He shot once very well and his movement was very important."

Source: PA