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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

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Capello calms contract fears and targets Euro 2012

Fabio Capello has pledged to stay on as England manager beyond the 2010 World Cup and fulfil the lucrative contract that he signed when being appointed by The Football Association in December 2007.

Capello has led England to seven consecutive victories in World Cup qualifying Group Six and their participation in the finals in South Africa will be confirmed if they beat Croatia at Wembley on Wednesday evening.

The Italian has been lauded by the press and public alike for the excellent job he has done since replacing Steve McClaren but it has been rumoured that he could step down from his role following the completion of England's World Cup adventure

That is something that Capello strenuously denies though, with the 61-year-old former Juventus, Roma and Real Madrid manager still aiming to lead the country when the Euro 2012 campaign begins.

"My contract ends in 2012 and I want to respect it," said Capello. "It is not only a matter for me but also The FA but in my mind the target is to respect my contract."

Ahead of the potentially decisive meeting with Croatia, Capello's England tackle Slovenia in a friendly international at Wembley on Saturday. Captain John Terry has been passed fit despite a recent groin problem and will be partnered by either Joleon Lescott or Matthew Upson with Rio Ferdinand absent.

Capello is unconcerned by the fact that his preferred pair will not be dovetailing this week though, as he prepares to hand a chance to one of the hopefuls who are aiming to secure a place in the travelling party to South Africa, should England qualify.

"John Terry and Rio Ferdinand are very good players, who are important for the national team,'' Capello said. "But I have been able to see how some of the others do, even if I hope Rio will be ready for the next matches.''

While the Italian has a minor defensive headache to manage, his options in attack are numerous and Capello is enjoying the contrast of styles that he has at his disposal as he seeks a partner for established starter Wayne Rooney.

"I have some really good forward players who have always done well with the national team,'' Capello said. "Wayne Rooney will play but I also have (Peter) Crouch, (Carlton) Cole, (Jermain) Defoe and (Emile) Heskey. They can all play with Rooney, which is very important.

"The main thing is we can change the style both before and during the games. Sometimes we play with a diamond, with one man just behind the main strikers. Sometimes we play with other formations. The thing is, I can choose.''

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