England to wait until final hour for Barry

Capello desperate to have midfielder in squad after Carrick's weak performance

Fabio Capello yesterday resolved to give Gareth Barry up until Tuesday's deadline for the World Cup finals squad in order to prove his fitness, after the Manchester City midfielder came through a positive examination in London.

Barry will head south from Manchester at the weekend to do further tests on his injured right ankle, on which he has not yet been able to run. So far the only jogging he has been able to do has been in a pool, where his weight is not concentrated on the injured area.

The inclusion of the 29-year-old is regarded as even more critical by Capello and his assistants after the disappointing performance from his stand-in Michael Carrick against Mexico at Wembley in England's 3-1 win. The England squad returned to their base in Irdning in central Austria yesterday with Barry still very much a part of the England manager's plans if he can prove that he can play as late as their second group game against Algeria on 18 June.

On Monday night Capello emphasised the importance of Barry, who has missed just three of the 23 England internationals which Capello has been in charge for. "Barry always played with me," he said. "He is one of the important players, after [Owen] Hargreaves [was injured] it was Gareth Barry. He is really important." Capello played down the poor performance of Carrick, preferring to blame the poor first-half showing on the entire team. "In the first-half we didn't play well. We scored two goals but Mexico had more chances. They missed some and [Robert] Green saved two times. But it is not one player. For me the performance is the performance of the team, not one player."

But Capello does now seem minded to use Steven Gerrard in the holding role if Barry doesn't make it to the final 23, with the Liverpool captain's impressive second-half display after taking over a central role from James Milner on Monday evening reinforcing his potential there – even though it would deprive Capello of the opportunity to deploy the Liverpool captain off Wayne Rooney.

It seems unlikely that Barry will be ready to play a part in what possibly will be England's toughest match in group C, against the US in Rustenburg on the evening of 12 June, though Capello can at least take encouragement from the fact that Barry's morning meeting yesterday with the England doctor Ian Beasley and physio Gary Lewin, plus the City club doctor Jamie Butler, under whose care he has been during the England squad's absence in Irdning, did not rule him out of playing a part in the finals. The meeting, put back 24 hours to yesterday because the England squad's day off freed up Beasley and Lewin, did not entail any diagnostic work to establish the extent of repair to the ruptured ligaments in the ankle but was an opportunity for the two sets of medical staffs to discuss the recuperation programme.

Ledley King does not seem to view himself as an emergency holding midfielder. "I'm not sure about that, a lot has changed since I last played there. With not training, midfield is a different role and it's different on the body," he said. Rooney's own niggles persist, the latest being the soreness in his neck which led him to ask Capello if he could leave the field two minutes before the end of the Mexico match. "I have got a bit of a stiff neck after the game today, but that should pass in the next day or two," Rooney said, though his general demeanour late on Monday night revealed a growing irritation with the scrutiny associated with England's impending campaign.

Rooney confirmed that Capello did not want him to risk injury by training too intensively. "You have got to try not to injure yourself or your team-mates, so you have to hold back sometimes in tackles in training to make sure you're both OK," he said. Rooney has actually only scored once in seven games for England now. "Of course I'd like to score, but that's the way it is. If it doesn't happen I'm glad it's in a friendly and not in the World Cup," he said. "Hopefully, I'm saving them up for then."

election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'