Capello on defensive over captaincy fiasco

AFP, Friday 25 Mar 2011

England manager Fabio Capello on Friday admitted he had mishandled his decision to reinstate John Terry as captain ahead of this weekend's Euro 2012 qualifier with Wales.

England coach Fabio Capello and his captain John Terry

Speaking at a press conference on the eve of Saturday's Group G tie in Cardiff, Capello said the manner of his decision to restore the armband to Terry at the expense of Rio Ferdinand "could have been better."

Ferdinand was reported to be "appalled" after first learning of Capello's decision via a newspaper report.

"Look, could have been done something better...but it's the past. I respect the players, I respect people. Sometimes I regret what really happens. It's possible to do something better," Capello said.

Capello insisted however he had been right to return the captaincy to Terry, who was sacked last year following newspaper revelations about his relationship with the ex-girlfriend of team-mate Wayne Bridge.

The Italian said his mind was made up after seeing the captain's armband passed around between several players during the friendly with Denmark last month.

"Something happened in my mind when I saw the armband being passed around during our game in Copenhagen (against Denmark)," he said. "We changed it in the second half and it was unfair for John Terry to see this.

"I thought that it was time for John Terry, after one year of punishment, to return and be captain.

"I know that Rio Ferdinand and Steven Gerrard are not fit. I knew it was the moment, with one game which is so important, to have one captain like John Terry."

Capello bristled when quizzed on his failure to meet Ferdinand in person at Manchester United's Champions League match with Marseille last week.

"I tried to meet him (Ferdinand) when Manchester United played against Marseille but he told me no.
"I think I will be happy and will meet him (Ferdinand) in the future."

Asked why he did not meet Ferdinand, Capello replied: "It didn't happen, he didn't come.

"It's a question for him, not for me. I was in the directors' box. You have to ask him, okay?"

Capello was adamant that his players supported the decision to hand the captaincy back to Terry.

"I spoke with the players and personally with some players, and I spoke with the squad before I decided that John Terry will be the captain, and all the players were happy because John Terry was always a very important leader on the pitch and to the team," he said.

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