Rio to captain but Bent bows out
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 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."