England v Bulgaria: Match Preview

02 September 2011 02:34

England captain John Terry has no doubt Tom Cleverley, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are ready for the rigours of international football.

The trio have been rewarded for an impressive start to the season with Manchester United with international call-ups for the European Championship qualifying double-header against Bulgaria and Wales.

Terry said: "They have come into the set-up and felt very assured - and rightly so because they are huge talents. They have got an awful lot to give.

"You don't go into the Manchester United side if you are not ready and they have showed some great individual performances.

"Clearly they are ready, I don't think age comes into it at all - you need to be given opportunities in life." Terry has targeted six points from England's next two games Euro 2012 qualifying matches, starting against Bulgaria in Sofia.

He continued at a press conference in Sofia: "We were looking forward to the Holland game so it was a shame it was postponed (because of last month's riots).

"The way we drew the game against Switzerland (2-2 at Wembley in June) we didn't play to our potential, although I think we were unfortunate not to go on and win the game.

"So we must pick up six points from our next two games and put ourselves in a very strong position in the group.

"We have to be very positive with the way we play because we've got a a lot of talent in the squad.

"With the experience the players can gather this season, if we can get to the Euros we can go there with some players with a lot of experience under their belts." Meanwhile, Lothar Matthaus has told his Bulgaria team to play "like Germans" against England.

With virtually no chance of reaching Euro 2012 themselves, Bulgaria are on an extended preparation period for the next World Cup qualification programme, that doesn't start for another 12 months.

It does not mean Matthaus, after only five games as coach, is disinterested in the result.

And Germany's 1990 World Cup-winning skipper feels the key to victory will be adopting a few traits from his homeland.

"I want my players to be like Germans tomorrow evening," said Matthaus.

"They know they will play against England and have to show all the best they are capable of.

Follow Live Match Commentary

Source: DSG

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
Last updated : 08:44