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The Toe Poke

Terry salutes England's spirit after late win

England skipper John Terry revealed that his celebration following his winner against Ukraine came after getting a haircut from Wayne Rooney this week.

With players under strict orders not to leave their base, The Grove in Watford, Rooney had to give his captain a trim - and the pair recreated the moment when Terry tapped in from close range at Wembley.

"In the week I needed a little trim but we weren't allowed to leave the hotel,'' Terry said. "I asked Wazza and he obliged. He did alright as well. I'm pleased with it and might go back. He was asking for a tenner but I owe it to him.''

England maintained their 100% record in Group Six despite a late scare from the visitors.

Peter Crouch had hooked in the opener but Chelsea flop Andriy Shevchenko levelled 16 minutes before full-time and it looked as though the points were going to be shared until Terry struck.

It came four days after Terry had a goal chalked off for offside against Slovakia when he could not resist a touch, even though Crouch's strike was going in.

"It was good to get on the scoresheet,'' Terry said. "It was a bit similar to the other day when I was offside, so I was delighted to set up Peter for his goal after sneaking his one in.''

Terry was pleased with England's reaction, adding: "At 1-0 it was too easy for us. At 1-1 we showed the desire and fight and kicked on. We could have settled for a draw but got a push from the fans and a kick up the backside from ourselves.''

Fabio Capello admitted he went through the most anxious moments of his England reign before his side eventually beat Ukraine

He said: "When the referee whistled for full-time I was very happy.

"I am happy for John Terry and the team. It was a very tough game. We suffered in the second half. We showed patience and saw the character of the players, particularly that second half.

"A lot of players played very well. They played like a group, like a team and this is very important. You can win only when you play as a team. It is not easy to play against Ukraine. Not easy to find space.''

Capello defended Wayne Rooney for a second-half clash which left Ukraine's Oleksandr Aliev writhing in agony.

"The referee said what happened was nothing,'' said Capello. "He arrived at the ball and got the ball. It was a normal tackle. We need this in our team. Strong tackles.''

The Italian also praised Terry's attitude after a week in which his mother hit the headlines in connection with an alleged shoplifting offence.

Capello said: "He is the captain. He is an important player and a strong character and this is important.''

The victory leaves England with 15 points from five games and with one foot on the steps of the plane to South Africa for next year's World Cup.

Capello, whose next games come against Kazakhstan and Andorra in June, added: "Five victories and 15 points is important and I hope in June the players will be fresher than now.

"Tonight we played well in the first half but we lost the last passes. This period of the season is when the players are not so fresh and there was not much space.

"But I think they shot twice and scored once. We had more attempts at the goal and that is the reason we won.''

Ukraine manager Oleksiy Mykhaylychenko, however, believed his side controlled much of the game, even though he conceded some of his side were star struck by playing at Wembley.

He said: "We tried not to let them play their usual game, but we made quite a few mistakes.

"The English team did not have that much threat on our goal but we didn't play as good in attack as in defence. We might have been too excited or it might have been the atmosphere of Wembley.

"We tried to neutralise Rooney and tried to move forward up the left wing where Aliev was our main attacker.''

He also revealed that Shevchenko was their secret weapon to hit England in the latter stages.

He said: "Our plan was to keep Shevchenko on the substitutes' bench until the English team were exhausted.

"I think England have a great chance to win the group but only half the games have been played so it is too early to say anything definitely.''


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