Manager keen to play safe over Terry's fitness

John Terry has declared himself fit to play in the friendly match against Slovenia tomorrow but the England manager, Fabio Capello, wants to rest him to make sure that his captain is completely fit for the World Cup qualifier against Croatia on Wednesday.

Terry has had problems with a groin injury and was pulled out of a training session yesterday. However, that was a precautionary measure because Capello wanted to put his players through a tough session and did not want to risk aggravating any existing niggles with his captain. Terry has told Capello he is ready to play and he expects to train today in front of the television cameras.

There are no problems with the England captain's back, as has been suggested. That was Terry three years ago – when he had operation on one of his vertebrae – but that problem has now cleared up completely.

As usual, Terry, 28, is loath to miss any game for England and regards himself as ready to play – which he will say today at his captain's press conference. Jermain Defoe is expected to start up front, with Wayne Rooney as an alternative to the Rooney-Emile Heskey partnership that Capello has used in the past.

The striker competing with Heskey for the target man role in Capello's plans spoke yesterday of how, after offering prodigious promise as a player the former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri described as his "little lion", he had failed to take the game seriously and lost his way. "I would put [that] down to not concentrating, thinking life was going to be easy and not being a professional," said Carlton Cole, who slipped out of Chelsea's plans after the arrival of Roman Abramovich – and ultimately Didier Drogba, an individual with whom he has a close friendship now. "I've come to terms with how to conduct myself off the field and on the field," Cole said.

Capello has already had to tear a strip off Cole for his poor timekeeping, admitted the West Ham United player, who once turned up for a game at half-time. "I got a bit of a tasting," Cole said. But the West Ham manager, Gianfranco Zola, has helped develop his hold-up play and though Cole accepted a call-up for Nigeria only 13 months ago, he abandoned any such ideas when Capello included him for the friendly against Spain in February.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower