Duo hope for Fabio dilemma

BY foxsports • November 13, 2011

Jagielka and Lescott revived the centre-back partnership from their days at Everton yesterday to help England cling on to a 1-0 friendly victory against the world and European champions at Wembley. With captain John Terry facing a police investigation into allegations he racially abused QPR defender Anton Ferdinand and continuing doubts over the long-term fitness of the latter's brother, Rio, Jagielka and Lescott picked the perfect time to put their hands up for a place in the side next summer. Indeed, so comfortable did the duo look back in each other's company, it seems Capello has found a pairing he can rely upon ahead of the trip to Poland and Ukraine. Jagielka, who also partnered Lescott in last year's qualifying win in Switzerland, said: "It was back to the good old days. "Me and Joleon have played together for a few years at Everton. "We had the Switzerland game where we did okay as well, so it was easy enough. "We picked up from where we left off. "A lot of people were doubting Mr Capello's selection of what team he was playing because they wanted to see our first team against their first team. "But it's proven we have got strength in depth and, obviously with a 1-0 win, it's proved to be a good exercise, not only for the first-team players but the lads on the fringes like myself." The 29-year-old added: "There are two or three more games before the squad will be announced, so hopefully that'll give Mr Capello a little bit of a headache." Lescott, who left Everton for Manchester City two years ago, said: "It helps playing with someone you've played with and you know well. "We knew we had strength in depth. "People coming in are not so much 'replacements' any more. "We're all internationals, so we can play at a consistent level and put a bit more pressure on the manager to pick a different team every game." Considering the quality of the opposition, Jagielka and Lescott arguably had their best matches for England yesterday. Lescott had no doubt it was his finest hour on the international stage, adding: "It's a great occasion to play against such a great team. "To get a performance and result like that is extra-special." Jagielka, who played through the pain of a broken toe, said: "It was a long, hard match, not only for the defenders, for the midfielders tracking the runs and the strikers having to work hard as well. "Definitely, concentration was a major factor, with us not letting them create too many chances." The duo will be given a well-earned rest for Tuesday's friendly against Sweden, with Capello having confirmed Terry will return alongside Bolton's Gary Cahill. Lescott admitted it was vital England went into that match against a side they have not beaten since 1968 with the same mentality as Saturday. "The two games, we knew they were going to be tough," he said. "Sweden are coming off the back of a qualifier against Netherlands and beating them, so no easy task to beat them." The 29-year-old added of the win: "We know it's one game and, no disrespect, it's a friendly game. "We know that if we're playing teams and beating teams like Spain in tournaments then we're going in the right direction." Jagielka said: "We're not going to get too carried away with ourselves. "We know we've still got to work on a few bits and bobs but it was a nice result."


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