Rio to captain but Bent bows out
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Fabio Capello confirmed Rio Ferdinand will captain England in their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against Montenegro on Tuesday as striker Darren Bent was ruled out through injury.

After weeks of speculation over whether Ferdinand would regain the armband from his deputy Steven Gerrard, Capello said Monday the fit-again Manchester United defender would lead England at Wembley.

Gerrard had made a strong case to be awarded the captaincy on a permanent basis after leading England impressively in Ferdinand's absence during the FIFA World Cup™ and victories over Bulgaria and Switzerland last month. However Capello said the Liverpool skipper accepted that the captaincy would now revert to first-choice Ferdinand.

I decided when I started as England manager who will be the captain and the vice-captain. The players understand why Rio is the captain, and after him Steve Gerrard.
Fabio Capello, England manager

"I spoke with Steven yesterday evening and explained why Rio will be captain against Montenegro. He understood everything - he knows the rules. I have also told the players that Rio would be captain," Capello told a press conference.

"I decided when I started as England manager who will be the captain and the vice-captain. The players understand why Rio is the captain, and after him Steve Gerrard, and after Gerrard another one. When I spoke with Steven I told him, 'you were a fantastic captain and you have to play like a captain tomorrow."'

Capello's preparations for Tuesday's Group G clash have been disrupted by a raft of injuries to key players that lengthened late Sunday when Chelsea defender John Terry was ruled out with a back injury. Terry's absence means Ferdinand will now partner Manchester City's Joleon Lescott in the centre of England's defence.

In another blow, in-form Sunderland striker Bent - who had been expected to partner Wayne Rooney in attack - joined the injured list after suffering a groin strain in training on Monday. "Darren Bent is out - I think we will play Peter Crouch," Capello said.

Capello meanwhile was confident that the injury-prone Ferdinand was fully fit after monitoring his form for Manchester United.

"He is fit completely. Also I watched the game against Valencia. I think now he's 100 percent fit," Capello said. "He's really important for the other players, he speaks a lot during the game. It's really important for me, I prefer this kind of player on the pitch."