Heskey happy with Wembley support
Published : 25 Mar 2009 16:30:00
England striker Emile Heskey believes supporters at Wembley can be a 12th man now Fabio Capello's side have won them over. Home fans have previously jeered England players but they have recorded a 100% start in their World Cup qualifiers and there is a mood of optimism ahead of the clashes against Slovakia and Ukraine."Being at home we want to put in a big performance to get the crowd behind us; once they are behind us they are like a 12th man," said Heskey. Heskey only has five international goals but fans have appreciated his work-rate since his return to the England set-up and they sung the Aston Villa forward's name during the victory in Belarus, despite not being on the scoresheet. That was his 50th England cap - and Heskey feels skipper John Terry will relish his own half century this week, either in the friendly against Slovakia or the qualifier against Ukraine. "It's a massive milestone for a footballer and great that I'm playing regularly and able to get that many caps," Heskey told the FA's website. "It's one of the biggest memories of my football career. Obviously getting 50 caps for your country is a great achievement and a great honour as well. "The shirt I wore has a '50 caps' at the bottom, so I've got that framed and the lads got a montage printed of my games and signed it so that was very special." Heskey hopes the Slovakia friendly will re-establish the squad's momentum following the friendly defeat to Spain, then the qualifier against Ukraine will be the focus. England will still be top of Group Six if they lose to Ukraine but victory will mean a giant stride towards South Africa. "It's important that we get the spirit from the last qualifiers. We just want to keep going," he said. "With the lads coming back, we very quickly bed in together and form that unity once again. "We know the importance of every game and we know that we have to play with 100% commitment, and hopefully we can do that going into these next games. "It's going to be a really good test against Slovakia going into the qualifying game on the Wednesday evening. "It will be a tough game and we know that international football is no pushover so we have to go out there with the same enthusiasm and commitment."