Walcott says England have nothing to fear

Theo Walcott insists England have "nothing to fear" at this summer's World Cup.

With nine victories from their 10 qualifying games, the Three Lions have improved markedly since Fabio Capello took charge.

Although the professional veneer slipped somewhat with the ill-conceived 'Capello Index', the Italian has brought a renewed focus, which is one of the reasons England are spending two long periods in Austria training at altitude prior to departure for their Rustenburg base on June 2.

And, once in South Africa, Walcott does not believe England have any reason to be concerned.

"We have to believe we can win the tournament," he said.

"Obviously Spain are one of the big favourites. They won the European Championships and that was a great achievement.

"But we have nothing to fear because we've got some fantastic players.

"If you look at us individually there are some great players and if you look at the way we qualified, it shows that those individuals are playing together as a team.

"We just want to go one step further at the World Cup and bring it back for the fans."

Walcott has been part of a reduced 24-man England squad that has been put through their paces during the first two days of their training programme in Irdning, designed to get them acclimatised to playing above sea-level, as they will have to do in South Africa.

The four Chelsea players, plus Portsmouth's David James, who were involved in the FA Cup final, arrive later today, meaning currently injured midfielder Gareth Barry will be the only absentee.

Happily for Capello, everyone has been able to play some part in the opening two days of training.

Quite how far that extends in Ledley King's case is a moot point.

King is not able to train properly due to his chronic knee problems, although that did not prevent Capello picking him in his 30-man provisional squad.

However, he will need to be certain the Tottenham captain can make a meaningful contribution before handing him his ticket to South Africa.

King's ability is certainly not in question.

However, getting up to speed with the defensive formations of a coach he has never previously worked with, or players he has rarely played alongside is not going to be easy, even for Jamie Carragher, who has abandoned his international retirement for one last shot at the biggest prize the game has to offer.

For someone who cannot train, the task is almost impossible, so Capello will need to assess just how much work King can do over the next fortnight before pursuing the matter any further.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Keith Fraser says we should give Isis sympathises free flights to join Isis (AFP)
news
Life and Style
Google celebrates the 126th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower opening its doors to the public for the first time
techGoogle celebrates Paris's iconic landmark, which opened to the public 126 years ago today
News
Cleopatra the tortoise suffers from a painful disease that causes her shell to disintegrate; her new prosthetic one has been custom-made for her using 3D printing technology
newsCleopatra had been suffering from 'pyramiding'
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals have both listed the selfie stick devices as “prohibited items”
music
Sport
Nigel Owens was targeted on Twitter because of his sexuality during the Six Nations finale between England and France earlier this month
rugbyReferee Nigel Owens on coming out, and homophobic Twitter abuse
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
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor