England boss Capello laments "freakish" errors
Fabio Capello bemoaned the "stupid" and "silly" mistakes that forced England into a second-half rescue mission in Amsterdam on Wednesday night.
Jermain Defoe's double allowed the Three Lions to claim a creditable 2-2 draw from their friendly with Holland.
Against a side ranked number three in the world, the result would have been acceptable beforehand. Yet it was even more welcome because of the woeful blunders by Rio Ferdinand and Gareth Barry that gifted the Dutch their goals.
One blind back-pass from Ferdinand allowed Dirk Kuyt to put the hosts in front. And after Frank Lampard had escaped a similar error, Barry made another, Rafael van der Vaart finishing after Robert Green had saved Arjen Robben's initial effort.
"These were just two stupid mistakes. Two silly mistakes," said Capello. "I was not angry about them because I can accept they were freakish."
What Capello was more concerned about were the lapses in concentration and positional problems his team encounter as they failed to put into practice the work they have put in on the training ground.
"Sometimes you are angry because some mistakes that they did were incredible," he said.
"I don't accept mistakes where the position is wrong or if I try doing something in training and then, afterwards, I don't see it being put into practice on the pitch."
Thankfully, England managed to rectify the position after half-time, with Capello insisting he did not resort to the hairdryer treatment and remained optimistic his side could pull the situation round.
"I was really calm at half-time, really calm," he said. "You have to understand what you have to do.
"It is not always the same. It is very important psychologically for the players to understand if the manager has confidence that they can recover the result."
Capello has clearly injected a high degree of confidence into his troops, so much so that their initial reaction at the final whistle might have been one of disappointment at not registering their first win in Holland since 1969.
Defoe took his tally to four in two games as he finished off passes from Lampard and James Milner, with far more needed to do on the first occasion five minutes after the restart than the second 13 minutes from time.
Amid the clamour for Michael Owen's recall, Defoe's contribution has tended to be overlooked. However, Capello remains a huge fan of the Tottenham star.
"He is one of the best English forwards," said Capello. "He is very fast, he is always in front of the goal and technically he is very good."
Lampard and Milner also made positive contributions, while Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk was particularly impressed with Carlton Cole, who came agonisingly close with a well-struck volley that followed a neat piece of skill.
"Carlton Cole came on in the second-half and caused us a lot of trouble," he said.
"We made silly mistakes, just like England, but Cole put our defence under a lot of pressure in the second half."
Holland are already certain of their spot in South Africa. For England though it is a friendly against Slovenia before the visit of Croatia to Wembley on September 9 when victory will take Capello's side through as well.
"I think they played with too much confidence tonight," reflected Capello.
"Sometimes these mistakes are born of having too much confidence.
"The spirit and the quality of the players in the second half was very good.
"We recovered the result and that will help us. We have to remember this game in the future.
"I prefer these things happen here, not when the game is really important for World Cup qualification.
"But, I think I would prefer not to have had to recover the result."