x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Fabio Capello: Time was right for John Terry to return as captain

The England manager says he can understand why Rio Ferdinand may be upset at losing the captaincy.

Fabio Capello, the England manager, says he can understand why Rio Ferdinand may be upset at losing the captaincy to John Terry, but insists that it was a decision he needed to make.

Terry's return as captain following a 13-month exile after allegations about his private life has dominated the headlines in the build-up to tonight's game with Wales, while it has been reported that Capello did not tell Ferdinand that he was being replaced as captain before reports emerged in the media.

Ferdinand's current absence through injury, plus that of vice-captain Steven Gerrard, meant that Capello had a captaincy decision to make, and he believes he has made the right choice.

"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 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.

"I tried to meet him [Ferdinand] when Manchester United played against Marseille but he told me 'no'.

"I can understand everything, but I need to make decisions. I think I will be happy and will meet him [Ferdinand] in the future."

Pushed further on why the meeting with Ferdinand did not take place, Capello added: "It didn't happen, he didn't come.

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

Capello added: "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."

Terry believes the result is the only important thing when his side take on Wales in their Euro 2012 Group G qualifier in Cardiff.

"It's a huge derby for our fans and everyone watching back home," he said. "The players realise the importance of it and we're determined to get a result, which is our main priority.

"On a personal note, I'm delighted with the manager's decision. It was important that we discussed it on Monday [with the media] and we've been concentrating on the training field since then and have a good week under our belts.

"Once we got Monday out of the way we drew a line under it, but on a personal note I've been very touched to see some of the players publicly supporting me.

"A win is a must. We realise they [Wales] are bottom and have not had the best start. They're a dangerous side with some really good, young players coming through.

"On paper everyone is expecting us to win, but as players we're not feeling like that. We know what we have to do."

The Chelsea defender also rejected a suggestion that some of England's poor displays at the World Cup and in the early stages of their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign have been down to fear.

"I don't think it's a real fear," he said. "It's a fear of not winning, not succeeding. We are playing for our country and we know everyone is watching us and believing in us and supporting us."

7pm, Aljazeera Sport +3