Campbell to end England exile as replacement for Terry

Written by:
Subscribe to Oneindia News

LONDON COLNEY, England, Oct 12 (Reuters) Sol Campbell is likely to make his first appearance for England for 16 months when he replaces injured skipper John Terry in the Euro 2008 Group E qualifier against Estonia at Wembley tomorrow.

England coach Steve McClaren said he had no hesitation in picking the 33-year-old Portsmouth defender, who won the last of his 69 caps when England drew 2-2 with Sweden in Cologne during the World Cup finals in Germany last year.

Terry will miss tomorrow's game after injuring a knee in training on Wednesday, and a decision will be taken on Monday whether he will travel to Moscow for the qualifier against Russia next Wednesday.

''Sol Campbell will be the likely one to replace John Terry,'' McClaren told reporters at their training camp in Hertforshire, north of London.

''We are lucky to be able to call on someone of that quality and that experience.

''I've had no hesitation in bringing him back into the squad after the way he has been playing for his club the last season.

''His professionalism and attitide since he was left out (of the squad) has been fantastic. He is a leader and will add to the team.'' Campbell, who has played in six successive finals tournaments for England, is set to partner Rio Ferdinand at the heart of England's defence -- three years to the day since they last started a competitive match together.

McClaren said he had no worries about pairing them.

''Sol Campbell has the experience to play with anyone and he has shown that throughout his career. I have no problem with that,'' he said.

GERRARD CAPTAIN England go into the match with 20 points from nine matches, three behind leaders Croatia and two ahead of third placed Russia. McClaren stressed that his squad was totally focused on Estonia and had not even mentioned the Russia game yet.

A year ago, in similar circumstances, England drew 0-0 at home with Macedonia before losing in Croatia four days later.

But McClaren said they had developed since then, as they proved when they beat Israel and then Russia 3-0 in back-to-back qualifiers last month.

''We learnt from that. We know we can't slip up against Estonia, we know we have to perform as we have done over the last four or five games.

''Momentum is a big word in football and we have got that.

''We have got the initiative. We didn't have that two games ago but we have put ourselves in a position where we have got the initiative and we have to make sure we keep that.

''We have got to make sure we come out of the Estonia game five points ahead of Russia going into the last two big games to make sure we qualify.'' Steven Gerrard will captain the side in Terry's absence, but said he did not yet know whether the fit-again Frank Lampard, or Gareth Barry, will partner him in central midfield.

''It doesn't really matter to me because it is the team that is important,'' he said.


Please Wait while comments are loading...