Captain Rio asks Wembley to make some noise
Rio Ferdinand wants England fans to roar the Three Lions to victory against Kazakhstan at Wembley tonight.
Ferdinand will be handed the captain's armband by coach Fabio Capello in the absence of John Terry, who could also miss next Wednesday's trip to Belarus with a long-standing back problem.
It will be the first time Ferdinand has led his country in a competitive international and he is determined to mark the occasion with a victory.
For that, the Manchester United man feels he needs England's supporters in raucous mood.
On his extensive travels, Ferdinand has noted how intimidating some opposition venues can be. And, with a 90,000 sell-out guaranteed, he sees no reason why Wembley should not be the same.
"People sometimes forget that football is entertainment, and we're there to entertain the fans,'' the 29-year-old told www.thefa.com.
"But it is a two-way street. They can help us entertain them when they scream their hearts out and make some noise.
"A lot of times in away games the fans are very vocal and you come out of the stadium thinking the atmosphere was incredible, and if we'd gone a goal down it would have been a hard place to be.
"We want Wembley to be like that, through the way we play and with the help of our fans creating that kind of atmosphere.''
The only time Ferdinand has captained England was in France earlier this year, when Capello was still conducting auditions for the role.
Confirmed by Sir Alex Ferguson as Manchester United's captain-elect and skipper on the night the Red Devils beat Chelsea in the Champions League Final, many pundits still feel the Londoner was unlucky to miss out when Capello plumped for Terry.
Ferdinand has long since got over the disappointment, although he admits tonight will be a special moment in his career.
"I am very much looking forward to it. I will cherish this moment,'' he said.
"The biggest thing will be walking out at Wembley.
"It is a fantastic new stadium and the home of our national team.
"To lead England out against France in Paris was great, but I think this will up the ante even more.
"Being at home in front of a sell-out crowd, in front of our own fans, my family there as well - I can't wait.''