International – Ferdinand impressed by Capello

EurosportMon, 04 Feb 18:00:00 2008

England defender Rio Ferdinand said he had been impressed by new Italian coach Fabio Capello’s training routines and “his surprisingly good English.”

FOOTBALL Shaun Wright-Phillips, Michael Owen, Rio Ferdinand and David Bentley model new England away shirt 2008 - 0

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Ferdinand, talking before Wednesday’s friendly against Switzerland at Wembley which will be Capello’s first match in charge, said the Italian had an aura about him that had made a big impression on the players.

“He commands your respect, just knowing what he has achieved gives him an aura but there is no fear involved. It is like the first day at a new school, going to secondary school from primary school.

“You are intrigued and excited to see what new ideas and methods the manager has got and what he is going to bring. We are like school kids, soaking up all the information he has got.

“He has been very involved in the first training sessions today and made other decisions about us coming down to breakfast together and leaving together, bonding really. He has addressed us all in English, surprisingly good English too.”

Ferdinand said he would also love to be named England captain but it was far more important for him to have been named in the first squad Capello announced last week.

“Any England player would be lying if they said they did not want to be England captain, which is what you dream of as a schoolboy and is the pinnacle of your career.

“But I am delighted, first and foremost to be in the squad, to have the chance to make a good first impression on the new manager and to hope you get the position and keep it.

“He hasn’t worked with or met a lot of us before, apart from Jonathan Woodgate and Michael Owen … and Becks (David Beckham). So we have to do well and impress him.”

Capello left former captain Beckham out of the squad he named last week for Wednesday’s friendly but Ferdinand said the players involved this week were not thinking about the omission that has cost Beckham the immediate chance of winning his 100th cap.

“It’s the manager’s job to pick the squad and we have to live or die by his decisions and it’s our job to go out and work hard and do the job.

“David has had ups and downs in his career before and jumped over the challenges. He’s been a great player for club and country so who knows he might come back and win 100 caps, or more.”

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