Capello awaits Terry news

Fabio Capello will wait for a fitness bulletin on John Terry before making plans for Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier in Belarus.

The England coach recognises his team’s next opponents offer a substantially increased threat to the one posed by Kazakhstan, and even they threatened to embarrass the Three Lions at times during the 5-1 Wembley win.

Capello’s major decision is whether to utilise Gareth Barry in a holding midfield role, as he started with on Saturday, or stick with the trusted two wide players, as he did following the half-time introduction of Shaun Wright-Phillips.

Much will depend on Terry, who did some running and gym work yesterday but is still to fully test the back injury that ruled him out at the weekend.

With his team due to fly to Minsk tomorrow morning, Capello will make a final decision after training today, with the odds remaining on Terry staying at home, Matthew Upson keeping his place alongside Rio Ferdinand, and Barry adopting the holding role just in front.

“I have time to decide whether to play a holding midfielder in Belarus,” said Capello, "but first we have to wait and see whether John Terry will play.”

England will create a bit of history by opening a World Cup campaign with four straight wins if they are triumphant on Wednesday.

They are expected to. But with the Three Lions life is never quite so straightforward.

And even if injury doubt Alexander Hleb does not play, Capello knows his side must be wary.

“They are not conservative at all,” he said, dismissing the theory with some exaggerated hand movements. “They move all over, like Arsenal, and pass the ball a lot. Belarus are a very dangerous side and this game will not be easy.”

At least Capello can rely on in-form Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney, who took his tally to five in four games for club and country on Saturday with his second-half double.

The England coach has no doubt Rooney can become one of the best strikers in the world, although he feels the 22-year-old has a few subtle lessons to learn.

“Wayne Rooney is in fantastic form at the moment,” said Capello. “He is scoring a lot of goals and his movement and pace are excellent. He runs, he comes back to win the ball. He does everything. He is an example to the other players, but it is possible for him to be better.

“I spoke with him when I first became England manager and told him technically he was very good.

“There are no problems with the head or feet. But when he arrives in front of the goal, sometimes he shoots too quickly. He has to be more patient, take things more slowly and understand what is happening around him. Then he will get more goals.”

Ferdinand opened England’s account after a barren first half, with Jermain Defoe wrapping up the scoring which also featured a well-taken Zhambyl Kukeyev effort for the visitors after Alexandr Kuchma’s own goal had threatened to turn the contest into a stroll.

There was nothing for Emile Heskey – again – although Capello does not seem too concerned about a goalless streak in international combat which stretches back to 2003.

“Emile is not very lucky,” smiled the England coach.

“The keeper made two incredible saves from him and on another occasion the ball got stuck under his legs.

“But he is very important to our team. If you see the movement and everything else he did during the game you would understand why. And certainly Rooney is better when he plays with him.”

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