Capello to call on Foster

21 March 2009 10:38
Ben Foster will be included in Fabio Capello's England squad despite his lack of action for Manchester United.

Capello will announce his party to face Slovakia in a friendly and Ukraine in the World Cup qualifiers on Sunday night, with both matches taking place at Wembley.

Foster has struggled with injuries ever since the Italian replaced Steve McClaren at the helm of the national team 15 months ago.

But he produced a man-of-the-match display in the Carling Cup final win over Tottenham in front of a watching Capello and has done enough to be included, despite the England manager's stated preference for players who are club regulars.

"I will pick Foster," said the England boss. "A lot of people have told me he is a very good goalkeeper but he has always been injured.

"I watched him on TV and then he played in the Carling Cup Final and I saw him there.

"He surprised me with his confidence. I went to Fulham hoping to see him in the FA Cup tie but Sir Alex (Ferguson) pulled him out.

"I will check him again during the week in training and then decide if he is going to play."

DifferentCapello has pledged to make his maximum number of six substitutions in the friendly against Slovakia on 28th March in order to ensure his team are fresh and raring to go for the crucial World Cup qualifier against the Ukraine on 1st April, meaning Foster is almost certain to feature.

The 25-year-old will replace Joe Hart in the squad, with the Manchester City youngster recently ousted from first-team duties by the arrival of Shay Given at Eastlands.

"It is different for goalkeepers," admitted Capello, when pressed on Foster's clear status as Old Trafford understudy to Edwin van der Sar.

"I want to get to know him and this is the first time he has been fit."

Despite England being outclassed as they suffered a 2-0 defeat to Spain in their last outing, Capello is genuinely optimistic for the future.

"When we lost against France (Capello's second game in charge) I said I was happy because I understood a lot of things," said the Italian.

"Now I understand even more. I know the value of my team.

"The next time we play Spain it will be different. Now I know we can play against every country in the world."

Source: SKY_Sports