Capello urges fans to support Terry

BY foxsports • March 2, 2010

England coach Fabio Capello urged fans to support John Terry when he lines up against Egypt on Wednesday despite dropping him as captain.

Terry lost the role last month following revelations of the married defender's affair with a teammate's former partner. But Capello will still ask the Chelsea player to lead the defense in England's final friendly match before he picks the squad for the June 11-July 11 World Cup.

"I think the fans have to support every moment," Capello said Tuesday. "You have to understand that privately some players were not so good, but on the pitch it is different.

"We wear the England shirt and it is really important they help us every moment. I hope that tomorrow the crowd help us and do not boo him."

Steven Gerrard will captain the side from midfield but Capello's attention is likely to remain focused on the rearguard.

Central defender Rio Ferdinand succeeded Terry as captain but is out injured, as is rightback Glen Johnson and leftback Ashley Cole.

England trained Tuesday with Manchester United's Wes Brown standing in for Johnson and uncapped Everton defender Leighton Baines replacing Cole.

Portsmouth's David James is likely to play in goal, although Birmingham's Joe Hart is also in contention for the No. 1 shirt.

Wayne Bridge would likely have deputized for Cole but has withdrawn from contention for the national team because of Terry's relationship with the mother of his child.

The Manchester City defender refused to shake hands with Terry before his team's Premier League victory at Chelsea on Saturday, but Gerrard said team spirit in the national team squad had been unaffected.

"Nothing has changed," Gerrard said. "The team spirit and togetherness has been fantastic over the last couple of days. The manager did reiterate our responsibilities both on and off the pitch yesterday but he has done that from day one.

"The message is to move on, forget about it and concentrate on football."

Capello is hoping the match against African champion Egypt provides valuable experience for playing Algeria in the first round of the World Cup in Cape Town on June 18.

Egypt is up to an all-time high of 10th in FIFA's world rankings, just a spot behind England, after winning a third straight African Cup of Nations last month.