Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard said England manager Fabio Capello has transformed England national team, and now the squad will go to South Africa with a genuine belief they can win the World Cup.
Gerrard said : “He’ll bring many qualities to the team. He’s a winner; he’s got an unbelievable amount of experience and has enjoyed a remarkable amount of success.
He’s transmitting a winning mentality to the team, so fingers crossed that will stand us in good stead for the tournament.”
Capello has given Gerrard a unique role for England, starting on the left flank then interchanging with Wayne Rooney as a support forward. It has led to a convincing qualifying campaign and high levels of expectations when the tournament kicks off in June, with England facing USA, Algeria and Slovenia in Group C.
“As players, we have to deal with the expectations and the pressure of playing for England,” Gerrard added. “The supporters and media are very passionate about the country and a lot is expected of us. It’s important that we, as players, cope with that in the best way we can. We are pleased with the draw and we’re very confident that we can qualify from the group but, at the same time, we have to show the teams respect. (They) are desperate to beat England. We know they’re going to play the game of their lives, so we need to make sure we perform well to win.”