England still improving - Capello
Published : 09 Sep 2009 15:52:00
England boss Fabio Capello has warned Croatia his side have improved since last season's famous victory in Zagreb - and there is more to come from them at Wembley on Wednesday night. Capello's men can qualify for next year's World Cup with victory over the team that denied them a place at Euro 2008. After that match, Steve McClaren was replaced by Capello - and there have been seven wins in as many qualifiers since, including the 4-1 victory at Maksimir Stadium a year ago when Theo Walcott scored a hat-trick. "The goal when I took over England was to get to the (World Cup) finals," said Capello. "When I came here, people said that - with Croatia - it would be a very difficult group psychologically, so I wanted to give the players belief." He added: "In Croatia we played very well and won 4-1. We played a lot of good games for qualification and won seven, improving in every game." Defeating Croatia could be a symbolic moment of Capello's reign - although many will still remember McClaren with his umbrella on the touchline on that rainy night almost two years ago. "I think the weather will be dry this time," Capello joked. Capello was working on Italian television back then and heard about England's failure, with suggestions he would be willing to take charge already starting to build momentum. When he accepted the Football Association's offer, the first aim was to get to South Africa. "It was always my dream to be here. I always said that," he said. "I think it's the dream of every manager (to reach the final of the World Cup). Now, my dream is first to go to South Africa. This is the dream. Afterwards, there'll be another dream." With Walcott injured this time around, Aaron Lennon is considered the favourite ahead of Shaun Wright-Phillips and David Beckham to start on the right flank. In attack, Jermain Defoe has scored five goals in three substitute appearances. But Emile Heskey's physical presence could give him the edge in the fight to partner Wayne Rooney.