England coach Fabio Capello has called on club managers around the country to show him respect by not launching public criticism at the national team. The Italian was appointed following England's failure to qualify for UEFA EURO 2008, and charged with leading them to the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™.
And ahead of Saturday's qualifier with Andorra in Barcelona, Capello has said he can be helped in that quest if club managers around the country show a little bit more respect. Portsmouth's Harry Redknapp launched a particularly scathing attack after England's 2-2 draw with Czech Republic at Wembley last month.
Capello says he never gives opinions about the dozens of club games he witnesses up and down the country, and he wants other managers and coaches to follow suit in terms of England. "Have I had enough support from the clubs? Yes, I speak with the managers to check the different positions of some players and football matters and they are always friendly with me," he said.
"But I also make a point of not talking about any of the club games that I see. . They support me enough, all the managers. But I'd prefer it if other managers didn't comment on England's performances."
I'm the present England manager and I respect the club managers. The other managers have to respect me
Capello also made it clear he only wants players in his squad who are fully committed to the cause. His comments followed on from those of former England defender Jamie Carragher, who said he hurt more when on the losing side with Liverpool than his country.
"I remember my country and in other countries I've managed, like Spain also, that all the players like to play with their national team. My message is 'if you don't have the heart for the national team, stay at home'.
"The players here have the heart for the national team. The players here have to sacrifice something to be proud to be here. That's very important. They have to be proud to be here.
"We are now into competitive matches and now we need to play hard, to play for the England shirt, and that's very important. But we also have to play for the result," concluded Capello.