John Terry insists Fabio Capello and England are focused, determined and ready to take on Wales in Cardiff on Saturday despite the negative headlines that have dominated the build-up to the Euro 2012 qualifier.
The way England boss Capello handled the reinstatement of Terry as skipper at the expense of Rio Ferdinand, who was not personally informed of the decision by the Italian, had brought criticism from the England press and seen questioned the coach's emotional and mental commitment to the team he will leave when their European Championship campaign ends.
Midfielder Gareth Barry suggested this week Capello has adopted a more relaxed attitude in recent times compared to the strict disciplinary approach he took when he was first appointed but Terry refuted claims the manager no longer cares or has gone soft, citing an incident in training that proved to the team Capello's desire to win still burns strong.
Terry said: "There's a determination from him. It's been there on the training pitch this week. I've seen things saying he doesn't really care, but it's the complete opposite. He's lost his rag in training a couple of times, even in fairly light sessions where he's been cheesed off when we haven't done what he's asked. We had quite a light session on Thursday, a tough one on Wednesday, corners and set-plays, lads attacking the ball. The lads weren't doing it right and he made it known.
"We can be doing the most simple thing, attacking corners and a bit of flair from the lads, but he didn't like it. He got frustrated. He said we were all s**t. That's him. He wants everything to be right on the training pitch and covers every angle as well off the pitch, with videos before games. That hunger from him rubs off on the players. He's still got that hunger.''
For his part, Capello stressed that he is still fully engaged with the task at hand. When asked if England have his full attention, Capello pointed to England's on-field fortunes and talked of the importance of matches, hinting he sees the attention given by the media to off-field issues as more a peripheral distraction and less a cause for concern or discussion.
"If my mind's not OK to drive this team, I go home,'' he said. "We have played three games, we have seven points and we've played some games very well. Absolutely [I still enoy the job]. For me, the most important thing is to be focused on the games. It is my job. To go around and see the games. To monitor the players. To do different things.''
Terry is adamant Capello already stating he will quit in 15 months time has had no detrimental effect on England.
He said: "It does not affect the players to know Fabio will be going after the Euros. It's the same with players. I know players at Chelsea with a year left on their deals. Who knows what could happen? He's come out and said he's going to leave but, as players, you learn to deal with things like that. People leave, whether they're managers or players. It's something in the environment you deal with.''
Terry added: "I don't think we are in need of a change (of head coach). As a nation, we suffer that a bit even in the Premier League with the big teams. The only one who doesn't suffer that is Sir Alex Ferguson. Even at Chelsea you get that when you lose a few games.
"People are saying about Carlo (Ancelotti) losing his job which is ludicrous after everything he's done the year before (winning the double) and the respect the players have for him. It's very much the same here. Fabio is the man in charge and will be until after the Euros. We firmly believe, he firmly believes, that we can still improve and must improve in this campaign leading up to that tournament.''