A first-half Ashley Young strike, set up by his former Aston Villa team-mate Stewart Downing, put England on the brink of qualification for the Euro 2012 finals. Capello’s men now need just a point from next month’s trip to Montenegro to book their place at next summer’s tournament.
However, England looked far from comfortable at Wembley as Gary Speed’s visitors carved a number of chances to grab a goal, including a late glaring miss from substitute Robert Earnshaw.
And Capello called on his side to improve their home form after a jittery display in north London. He said: “We suffered a lot the last 15 minutes. In the first half we started not well and after we played not so bad.
“In the second half for 20-25 minutes we played well but [then] we suffered and they [Wales] got plenty of chances to score.
“We need to improve, we are playing better away than at Wembley. Also, we need to recover some players who are out. In the future maybe new players will be fit and OK to play for the senior team.”
The England boss added: “Sometimes the result is more important than the other things.”
Despite the loss, Wales looked considerably improved from their performance against England at the Millennium Stadium in March, when two early goals from Frank Lampard and Darren Bent doomed the hosts to defeat – and Dragons manager Speed was quick to point out the positives after Tuesday’s clash.
“I’m very, very proud of the players,” Speed said. “We knew what to expect from England, we knew we were going to come under pressure at times – they are a top-four team in the world. We knew the game would open up in the second half a bit.
“The way we passed the ball in the second half, how comfortable we were on the ball and the way we took the game to England and the chances we created – I thought we were the better team in the second half.
“So from that I take a great deal of positivity and I’m very, very proud.”
Goalscorer Young admitted England’s performance was far from perfect but insists getting a win was the priority before the game.
“We wanted to get the three points to boost our chances of getting top of the group and we’ve done that,” said Young. “The performance wasn’t great but you go out to win the game and that’s what we’ve done.
“We knew Wales were going to come out and play with a bit more flair (after the break), which they did, and put us under pressure. I’m not too sure what it was in the second half, we just couldn’t get going.”
England: Hart, Smalling, Terry, Cahill, Cole, Milner, Lampard (Parker 73), Barry, Downing (Johnson 79), Young, Rooney (Carroll 89).
Wales: Hennessey, Gunter, Williams, Blake, Taylor, Bale, Crofts, Collison (King 85), Ramsey, Ledley, Morison (Earnshaw 68).
Referee: Robert Schorgenhofer (Austria)
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