Fabio thanks outspoken Bilic
09 Sep 2009 - 08:12:58
England head coach Fabio Capello has thanked his Croatia counterpart Slaven Bilic for motivating his side ahead of a crucial Wembley World Cup qualifier.
Bilic appeared to question the Englishness and spirit in Capello's squad, despite England having won seven out of seven in Group Six - meaning that one further victory will clinch a place in South Africa next summer.
That prompted Capello to say: "Thank you Mr Bilic.
"It is the best. I have no need to motivate my players after this. It's fantastic assistance.
"He prepared the game. He tried to provoke a reaction. For me, thank you. That's fantastic assistance.
"You have to remember what Bilic said. I like the English spirit. I saw this spirit in a lot of games that we've played.
"It's impossible to win without spirit. We suffered sometimes during first halves and played better second halves, it would have been impossible to do that without spirit."
Bilic later attempted to backtrack on his earlier comments, adding: "I can assure you that there's no team in the world that my players respect more than England."