Capello blasts England stars for Platinum Stars display
Published 23:00 07/06/10 By John Cross
Jermain Defoe last night revealed England's players were given a half-time rollicking by Fabio Capello.
Furious Capello tore into his players in the dressing room, made ten substitutions and then stormed out after just five minutes of the half-time break.
Capello angrily shouted: "I know it's a friendly and for charity. But it is also a football match and you had better start treating it like one."
Defoe claimed it showed just how much the Italian wanted to win even in England's final World Cup practice match against a South African Premier League outfit.
But Tottenham striker Defoe, who gave England a fourth minute lead against Platinum Stars, says Capello has instilled that winning spirit into the squad.
Defoe said: "The manager wasn't happy with the performance in the first half. The manager is a great character. All he wants to do is win. He gets you fired up before the games and he's right.
"Maybe we could have pressed a bit more, but it was quite difficult because of the conditions and I think we'll improve on that. In the second half, the lads pressed a bit more and it was better.
"Everyone's hungry. We want to win it. We'll take each game as it comes, but I think we've got that winning mentality: we're winning games and we want to take that into the tournament now.
"At the end of the day, he [the manager] wants you to press, press high up, win the ball back and give 100 per cent in every game. Even in training. And that's what we've done.
"There was a different team in the second half so I wasn't surprised that he was in and out so quickly. To be honest, everything was a bit of a rush: the warm-up was rushed, half-time wasn't that long and it was quite rushed overall.
"The manager said to us to 'be careful', but he doesn't want you to go out there and treat it like a friendly. You have to do it properly, and that's what he's like.
"You need to be that way, I suppose, even in training. You have to do it properly, train like you play in a match. But, by doing that, you'll improve as a player."
Defoe, one of ten players substituted at half-time, insists England are ready for the World Cup kick-off against USA in Rustenburg on Saturday.
But he confesses he is uncertain as to whether he has done enough to earn himself a place in England's starting line-up.
Defoe said: "I don't think we could be better prepared. I think everything we've done - the training, the fitness work - has been spot on. The hotel is brilliant.
"We've got everything we need, so the preparation has been good and, if you prepare right, you get results.
"I think we're ready. I'm looking forward to the game. I think the game will be different (to tonight), but we're looking forward to it.
"The United States will give it a go. At this level, every game is difficult. We know they're going to be up for it: it's the World Cup, and everyone is up for it in the World Cup.
"Every team we play against from now on in will be difficult, but we have to go out there and be confident. We have to go out and enjoy it. If we do that and play like we can do, then I'm sure we can win the game.
"I don't know if I've done enough. That's up to the manager. You've just got to go out there, work hard and do your best. Leave it down to the manager.
"But, to be honest, it's all about the squad. In a major tournament, you need a squad, not just the lads who will start the game. It's important that, even the lads who come on make a difference. You need that in a major tournament."
In the end, it was only Joe Cole who played the full 90 minutes but Wayne Rooney made all the difference after his introduction at half -ime.
Rooney scored, helped set up Joe Cole's goal and also got himself booked after swearing at referee Jeff Selogilwe.
But Defoe defended his England striking rival and says it shows just how much he cares about the team.
Defoe added: "I think Wayne's temper is a good thing. When you've got that fire in your belly as a player, if you take that away from him then he won't be the same player.
"In a friendly, it's in the back of your mind because you don't want to pick up any injuries. You look at the other teams and their friendlies, and they're picking up so many injuries, so you are aware that you have to be careful.
"But, at the same time, you have to go out there and be professional, treat it like a real game."