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Capello struggling to find winning mentality - Rio

ESPN staff
November 16, 2010
Rio Ferdinand has called for England to improve © Getty Images

Rio Ferdinand has admitted that Fabio Capello is struggling to find the formula for success as England manager - but he insists that the national team's woes have nothing to do with a lack of passion from the players.

England are going through a period of transition following their disappointing World Cup campaign, with several new caps being handed out in a bid to reverse the country's fortunes.

The situation appeared to be improving as the Three Lions recorded comprehensive wins over Switzerland and Bulgaria in European Champoinship qualifying, but a frustrating draw with Montenegro has once again seen the gloom descend over the camp.

Now, ahead of England's friendly with France on Wednesday, Ferdinand insists that Capello must seek to implement the winning mentality that has served Manchester United so well under Sir Alex Ferguson.

"Finding the formula [for success], you could say, is part of management," Ferdinand told the Telegraph. "The manager has it at Manchester United. You look at the game on Saturday [2-2 draw at Aston Villa] - we're down, he sends on two attacking players and that puts you on the front foot. You respond to that.

"It stems from the manager. You don't want to go into the dressing room and face him if you've left something on the pitch. But that said, it's not just management. Up till now as players we've not done our bit, there's no hiding from that."

One of the most damning criticisms in the aftermath of the World Cup debacle was that the English players did not have the desire required to compete at the top level - but Ferdinand has dismissed the theory as "rubbish".

"When it's said that England players have got no passion, it's rubbish," he said. "You don't go out there to lose or draw, you go out there to win. Sometimes it doesn't work for you, but that's football. But it's not through want of trying, or want of passion.

"When people doubt a player's desire, that shows a lack of understanding. We train every day to be better players. We strive to win it for ourselves, for the team, for the fans."

The England skipper also fired a note of caution to the likes of Jordan Henderson and Jack Wilshere, who are bidding to force their way into the England starting XI. "There's a difference between playing for your club and your country," he said. "Can they make the step up? A lot of it is in the mind. There's a lot of pressure, a whole lot more criticism when you play for England, even than at United."

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