England midfielder Steven Gerrard revealed manager Fabio Capello had demanded more aggression from the team at half-time as England secured a 3-1 pre-FIFA World Cup™ friendly win over Mexico at Wembley.
Mexico were allowed to dominate possession in the first half, although England went in 2-1 ahead at the interval after goals from set-pieces by Ledley King and Peter Crouch.
Guillermo Franco scored on the stroke of half-time before a superlative effort from Glen Johnson early in the second period put the game beyond the visitors.
They're a good side, they move the ball quickly and the manager made his feelings known at half-time that we weren't getting tight enough but we came out in the second half and did a lot better.
"The manager wanted more aggression from the whole team," Gerrard told ITV1 after. "They had too much possession in the first half, we stood off them and let them play. In the second half we got in their faces and stopped them playing. We need to be more aggressive.
"We need to be able to adapt to different formations during a game and also for different opposition, that's down to the manager and what he decides to go with. We can play better than we did tonight, there's still time to sharpen up and we'll go [to South Africa] and give it our best shot."
King, making his first England appearance for almost three years, admitted he didn't play as well as he hoped. "It wasn't one of my best games, but it was tough out there," he said. "They're a good side, they move the ball quickly and the manager made his feelings known at half-time that we weren't getting tight enough but we came out in the second half and did a lot better. The knee is getting better, the more I play the better I get."
Asked whether he could cope with the tough schedule in the World Cup group phase, King added: "I've done it this season [with Tottenham] so why not? The medical staff are doing a great job getting me prepared for the games, but it's down to the manager."