31 Mar 2009

Tough line from Capello behind England's revival

6:14 pm on 31 March 2009

Frank Lampard believes Fabio Capello's refusal to pander to the egos of England's pampered superstars has played a key role in putting the team on course for the World Cup football finals.

After the indulgent reigns of Sven Goran Eriksson and Steve McClaren ended in failure, Capello moved quickly to shatter the sense of entitlement and complacency that pervaded the England squad when he took charge last year.

Now Capello's side can take a significant step towards next year's tournament in South Africa by maintaining their 100 per cent start to the qualifying campaign against Ukraine at Wembley on Thursday.

Four successive wins have fired England to the top of Group Six and another victory over Ukraine would give them one foot in the finals already.

Chelsea midfielder Lampard says it was about time England's underachievers were given a reality check and admits he was once so sure of his place that he didn't even bother to check the squad announcements.

That complacency is gone and to maintain his place in the team he now has to ignore his attacking inclinations and play a more disciplined role.