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Sep 10, 2008

Capello puts faith in meticulous planning

England coach Fabio Capello is convinced his forward planning and attention to detail will bear fruit in tonight's World Cup qualifier in Croatia. The Italian knows that his side would take pole position in their qualifying group should they avoid defeat in Zagreb and he has been planning meticulous to make sure his players have the measure of their opponents.

He will need to coax a much-improved performance out of his players after Saturday's stuttering victory over part-timers Andorra.

England lost 2-0 in Croatia in their failed bid to make it to Euro 2008. Had they drawn in that fixture they would not have required anything from their final qualifier, the return against Croatia which they also lost. It shows the importance of a good result away from home against qualification rivals.

Capello also highlighted midfielder Luca Modric, who scored against Kazakhstan at the weekend, as the man to stop. But he is certain that he has the ability himself to make things happen in the match.

He said: "How much effect can I have on game like this? I always study for a long time, I prepare everything. I speak with the players, I ask for some movement, I ask what they have to do during a game. My job is a very important job.

"I get angry when on the pitch the players never do this movement. He is very important, the manager, before and during the game.

"Sometimes the other manager will change the position and the style and you have to react every time. It is very important. You can change it with a substitute or the position of some players.'

"Modric is a very interesting player. The movement of Modric is very dangerous because he arrives in the box and follows and is aware of the movement of the players.

"I saw the game he played for Tottenham against Chelsea. He played like a second forward, not like a midfielder, but sometimes he arrives a bit suddenly in the danger area - and we have to check him.

"We have to check the movement not only of the midfield - but also the two centre-backs. I saw Croatia in the European Championships and the counter-attacking they produce is very dangerous.

"I have spoken to the players about this and we have to defend better.''

And Capello is also insistent that the two defeats against Croatia in the last 23 months are now irrelevant. He said: "We have to cancel that and think about the future. Compared to two years ago, it is a new manager and new ideas and we have to play to try to win.

"Experience is very important in this game and the good players have to play well. It is very important to play like a team, not as individuals, and for this reason I am very happy because I work a lot on this sort of thing.''

Defender Rio Ferdinand is fit after recovering from a neck problem while Theo Walcott could get the nod over David Beckham, although Capello will not name his side until two hours before kick off to the players.

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