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14.10.2008 General News

Capello stands by Gerrard & Lampard

By Kofi Owusu Aduonum - Ghanaian Chronicle

England manager Fabio Capello has hinted that he could stick with Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard in midfield for Wednesday's World Cup qualifier against Belarus.

Gerrard and Lampard started Saturday's clash against Kazakhstan, but neither made much of an impact until Capello switched formations at half-time.

However, the Italian tactician dismissed the notion that the pair's performance brought about the alteration.

"I did not change it because it wasn't working with Gerrard and Lampard," Capello told The Sun. "I changed it as I brought on (Shaun) Wright-Phillips and changed the team's shape. I went from 4-3-3 to 4-4-2."

Gareth Barry was sacrificed from the original three-man midfield, meaning Gerrard and Lampard were forced to play deeper and with more restraint going forward.

The ploy worked, as England piled on five goals during the second half with Wayne Rooney, who had started on the left flank, bagging a brace.

Capello is yet to confirm his line-up for Wednesday's clash in Minsk, although he hinted that Barry could be relegated to the bench. "I have time to decide whether to play a holding midfielder in Belarus," the former Real Madrid boss added.

"But first we have to wait and see if John Terry will play, then we'll decide on the midfield."