Fabio Capello team selection proves overhaul promise says James Milner

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The Independent Football

James Milner has claimed Fabio Capello's team selection for England's 1-1 draw with Ghana proves he is keeping his promise to overhaul his squad in the wake of their World Cup debacle.

Milner was one of only three survivors of last summer's 4-1 thrashing by Germany to start yesterday's friendly at Wembley as Capello fielded a largely experimental side.

The Italian's controversial decision to release five of his key players back to their clubs after Saturday's European Championship qualifying win in Wales appeared to pay off as a number of their understudies shone.

Andy Carroll scored his first international goal, Stewart Downing produced a man-of-the-match display in his first start for more than two years, while Ashley Young and Jack Wilshere - both of whom also played in Cardiff - were excellent as well.

Manchester City midfielder Milner said: "You can see the squad is changing now.

"A few of the players went home but I think we've got a good mix.

"A lot of younger players coming through, a couple of debutants, Andy Carroll's first goal.

"I think it's good to see that, and playing against one of the top teams in the world.

"They showed that they were one of the top teams at the World Cup. There were plenty of positives.

"Hopefully, we're moving forward and improving as a team and as a unit."

The release of the likes of Wayne Rooney, John Terry, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Michael Dawson saw Capello criticised in some quarters.

The Italian has come under mounting pressure since the World Cup and has not been helped by a number of public relations own goals.

But Milner, who described Capello as "one of the best managers in the world", insisted the criticism of him has been unjustified.

He added: "We'll just get on with it and try not to take too much notice, whether it's positives or negatives being said outside the camp.

"It's what's said in the camp, and we aim for our goals and we know where we want to get to.

"We want to improve as a unit with these players and the staff.

"It's all about learning from past experiences, from the World Cup.

"You can see the new faces coming in and experienced players still there as well.

"It's down to us hopefully to keep improving and keep learning."