Rio: Trophy is our only target

29 May 2010 02:06
Rio Ferdinand says England will not settle for second best and claimed: "We are going to South Africa to try and bring the World Cup home."

The England skipper is adamant Fabio Capello's side will not be content with yet another quarter-final appearance or even reaching the final.

But Ferdinand also admits there is still "room for improvement" and the squad have a more realistic outlook than when heading into past tournaments as they prepare for Sunday's friendly international with Japan in Graz.

The Manchester United defender said: "We are not going to be going into the tournament thinking 'get to the quarter-finals, semi-finals or final and we've done our job'.

"We will only do ourselves justice by winning a tournament. We are going there strictly to try and bring this trophy home.

"No-one gets remembered for finishing in the semi-finals or quarter-finals. That is why we are training so hard here.

"We've had great preparation at our training base in Austria and hopefully that will serve us well at the tournament.

"But I also I think there is a bit more reality how we are approaching things. We had a good reality check against Mexico.

"I remember going into the last tournament and we beat Jamaica by six goals at Old Trafford and Peter Crouch got a hat-trick.

"Sometimes that kind of thing papers over the cracks. This time we've had a game we've won (against Mexico) but there is still a lot of stuff to work on."

Ferdinand added: "We are not the finished article, we know that, and I think that bodes well for the tournament.

"Also in past tournaments, we've talked about how well we are going to do and really getting carried away with ourselves.

"This time you've seen in the interviews all the lads have done since this manager has been involved, it's all a lot more reserved and calculated and being a lot more respectful of our opponents.

"Fingers crossed, that also bodes well for the tournament for us."

Wayne Rooney will head into the game with Japan having netted just once in his last seven appearances for his country.

But Ferdinand has no doubts his club team-mate will deliver the goods when it matters most in South Africa.

He said: "People ask about Wazza's recent record but Alan Shearer didn't score in 11-12 games before Euro 96 and he finished as the top scorer in the tournament.

"I have confidence in Wazza to do well. He has had pressure and expectations on his shoulders since he was a young kid so it is nothing new to him.

"Wayne is a team player more than an individual and he will be working hard for the team and, by doing so, hopefully he gets his rewards individually by getting goals and putting in star performances.

"If he does that, it bodes well for this team."

Ferdinand is also happy that Capello has committed his future to England in stating he wants to remain in charge until at least the 2012 European Championships.

He said: "I think it is important we remain with the manager we have got.

"He has already come out and said he is staying for the next tournament so that puts it to bed straight away.

"But the manager is solely concerned about what is going on here rather than elsewhere."

Ferdinand also believes Capello is expert at keeping all the players on his toes in terms of team and squad selection.

He said: "Is no-one sure of a place? I think everyone feels like that. That is the great thing about the manager. He makes everyone feel like they are auditioning for a part in this squad.

"He doesn't let anyone feel they are the mainstay or the lynchpin of the team.

"Everyone knows they've got a part to play but you've got no divine right to be in the team or squad all the time. You've got to perform."

Source: Team_Talk