Fabio Capello denies making deal with Champions League clubs

Fabio Capello has insisted no deals were struck with England's Champions League contenders about how he was going to handle their players in Denmark this week.

The England manager made his scheduled six substitutions in last night's 2-1 win at the Parken Stadium.

It did look as though Capello had half an eye on forthcoming Champions League ties.

Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshere must all complete two-legged last-16 clashes before England meet again, ahead of the Euro 2012 qualifier with Wales on March 26.

All three gave way at half-time, with Michael Dawson, Theo Walcott and Ashley Cole joining them in the second-half.

Given one of the first things Capello did after the final whistle was express his relief no-one got injured, it would be easy to think the Italian had reached some kind of an agreement with England's senior club bosses.

However, Capello insists the decisions were his alone.

"I hadn't agreed with the clubs who to take off," he stressed.

"I decided on Tuesday I would make six substitutions and that is what I did.

"The clubs are happy with this and no-one got injured. The result was good as well, so everything has gone right for us."

Capello spent the hour after England's win extolling the virtues of Ashley Young, Darren Bent and Jack Wilshere, while defending the attributes of star man Wayne Rooney.

Wilshere's performance was satisfactory, even if he was put in the shadow somewhat by the first-half display of fellow teenager Christian Eriksen.

The Arsenal youngster was part of a midfield that sat too close to England's defence in the opening period, inviting the pressure Ajax's Eriksen was only too willing to apply.

But it was a valuable lesson for the 19-year-old, who is now looking ahead to an even more demanding tussle with Barcelona.

"Wilshere played very well," said Capello.

"He played with confidence and made a lot of good passes. He also won the ball back for us a lot.

"The first-half was more difficult for us than the second but it is not easy for a young player like him to play at this level."

The performance of Young was the most pleasing aspect of a lacklustre second period.

Until this season, the 25-year-old has tended to be thought of as talented but sometimes erratic, hence his omission from Capello's World Cup squad last summer.

New Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier saw something different, electing to use him just behind a central striker, which used to be Emile Heskey but now looks like being Bent.

It was Bent who bagged a typical poacher's effort to pull England level after Daniel Agger's early header.

Young's response to such freedom has been electrifying and he was on hand to score England's winner last night.

He may not boast the range of passing or have the invention of someone like Lionel Messi or Wesley Sneijder, who also operate 'in the hole'.

However, his elusiveness means he is always capable of causing problems, which is exactly what Young did to Denmark last night.

At the same time his performance underlined Rooney's failure to make a significant impact beyond his admittedly fine crossfield pass to release Theo Walcott in the build-up to Bent's leveller.

"Ashley Young played in the same position he plays for Aston Villa," said Capello.

"It means he is free to move around the pitch, to move the ball and go forward."

For the first time therefore, there must be a thought in Capello's mind about leaving Rooney out of his starting line-up at the Millennium Stadium, however fleetingly it stays there.

Andy Carroll may also be fit by then, while new Liverpool team-mate Steven Gerrard and skipper Rio Ferdinand would hope to be available too after sitting out last night's game through injury.

"That was a very satisfying night," said Capello.

"Some players played for the first time. Some came back after a long time. And they all played with the right spirit, which is really good for the future."

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