Beckham not seeking Croatia revenge
Monday 07 September 2009
David Beckham has denied that England will be driven by revenge when they host Croatia in their World Cup qualifier at Wembley on Wednesday.
The last time the sides met at the famous London venue Slaven Bilic's men memorably won 3-2 to end England's bid to qualify for Euro 2008.
This time around it is England who can damage Croatia's hopes of qualifying for a major tournament, after their seven wins from as many games has them in the box seat in Group Six.
Victory against Croatia will secure England's place in next summer's finals in South Africa and Beckham said it was that, rather than revenge, that would inspire his team-mates
"This game is not about revenge, it is not about putting to rest what happened last time we played Croatia (at Wembley)," said Beckham.
"It was a very tough time for the players and everyone involved in the England team.
"It was tough for the fans too. From a fans view they probably want us to beat Croatia for the revenge side of things.
"But for the players we know that if we win then we will qualify for the World Cup finals, that's the incentive. Trust me that is all the players and the management staff will be thinking about."
Beckham admitted the fateful night against Croatia in November 2007 was one of the low points of his career, with the defeat spelling the end of Steve McClaren's time in charge.
Fabio Capello has since taken over and Beckham said his tenure has helped restore belief in an England team short on it after their Euro 2008 disappointment.
"What Fabio Capello has brought into squad and the nation is belief," he added.
"After the last qualification campaign, when we didn't qualify, that belief and trust was lost from the fans and that hurts players.
"This qualification campaign has brought belief back into fans and the players. That's what we needed to get back.
"We needed to get back to playing the football we knew we could play but we also needed the belief of the fans."
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