Sweden clash will be test of England progress after Spain scalp, admits boss Fabio Capello

The Italian says the Three Lions must adopt a more positive approach on Tuesday while not allowing their performance levels to drop after victory over the world champions
Tuesday’s friendly clash with Sweden will be the true test of the progress shown by England in Saturday’s victory over Spain, according to boss Fabio Capello.

A dogged defence and battling midfield were the foundations of the Three Lions’ win over the world champions, but they will be expected to show much more attacking intent when faced with less daunting opposition on Tuesday evening.

And Capello feels his side will also need to show they can perform at their very best when regarded as favourites rather than underdogs.

"When you think the opponents are better than you, then you have to play at the top,” he told reporters. "Your concentration and focus is right at that level, all game.

"But what is difficult is when you play a team and you think you are better than them. Then you really need to play at the top level. This is the change we need to make."

Having been impressed by their contributions against Spain, Capello believes the likes of Phil Jones, Jack Rodwell and Danny Welbeck are ready to play a key role in England’s Euro 2012 campaign next summer.

"It was an important night for England,” he said. “I remember as a manager at Roma, I put young players like Daniele De Rossi and others into my team.

"You can see if a player has the confidence in their first game with that team. That is what is so important.

"They had been in the academy before but now, with the seniors, we had to see if they could play the same way.

"The players who played against Spain played the same way as they do with their clubs. So I think, from my experience, they are now ready.”

But first the Three Lions are faced with the task of defeating Sweden for the first time since 1968, and Capello was at pains to stress the match will be no walkover.

"Against Sweden, it will be really difficult,” he admitted. “Their movement when they defend is very good and then they play on the counterattack.

"Also, now, after we have beaten Spain, they will come here thinking we are good, so they know they will have to play better – and so will we.

"This is the next step, the really important one we have to take if we want to go forward and improve. But, against Spain, we found good players.

"The result was really important because of the effect on the confidence of the team. In the past, sometimes, they have lost that."

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