England coach Fabio Capello insists the bond with his players will not be broken by the controversial manner in which he ended David Beckham's international career.
The Italian was roundly criticised for using a TV interview to tell the former captain that he was too old to feature in the forthcoming UEFA EURO 2012 qualifiers. It only emerged late on Thursday that Capello's assistant Franco Baldini had spoken to Beckham in the wake of the interview and that the 35-year-old was aware of its content.
As a result Capello has no doubt that his players retained faith in him. "I am sure about it," he said. "The players are the important thing. They are the ones I work with. If they believe in me, we can win. When we win the fans will be with us.
"My relationship with the players is good. I have never had any problems and I am looking forward. It is not easy but this is a new adventure and I have to find new players."
Meanwhile, former team-mates have rallied to Beckham's side. Sunderland manager Steve Bruce, who played alongside him at Manchester United, backed the discarded star to bounce back. "I still wouldn't write him off yet," said Bruce.
Ryan Giggs, a team-mate at United between 1993 and 2003, added: "He will come back stronger. He is an unbelievable talent and Becks has said he still wants to play for England, so we will have to wait and see."