Fabio Capello defends Steven Gerrard participation

steven gerrard
(Photo: Nicholas Macgowan)

steven gerrard

Manager Fabio Capello has dismissed suggestions he was wrong not to substitute Steven Gerrard earlier during England’s 2-1 defeat to France on Wednesday.

Gerrard had to be replaced by Peter Crouch after the Liverpool skipper picked up a hamstring injury five minutes from time at Wembley.

Darren Burgess, the head of fitness and conditioning at Liverpool, criticised Capello and the FA for what he deems to be a lack of consideration for Gerrard’s physical state.

“Unbelievable from all associated with England and English FA with regard to [Steven Gerrard’s] injury. Completely ignored agreement and past history,” wrote Burgess on his Twitter page.

He added: “Completely amateurish and now we pay for their incompetence. Absolutely disgraceful.”

However, Capello has defended his decision not to substitute the 30-year-old earlier on.

“I told Liverpool he would play for an hour if possible,” Capello explained. “With Gareth Barry and Rio Ferdinand’s injuries we needed a senior player on the pitch. I’m upset about Gerrard.

“They asked that he can play one hour if it’s possible. They can’t decide how long a player plays with the national team. If it’s possible, he’d have played an hour.”

The former Juventus manager also highlighted fixture congestion as a factor which contributed to the host of injuries suffered by other members of his squad.

“I understand why they’re upset and I’m also upset,” said the 64-year-old.

“The problem is that, when you play this game on Wednesday after a lot of Premier League, Europa League or Champions League games, it’s possible there might be an injury for a player.”

Gerrard is expected to be out of contention for three to four weeks after undergoing tests at Melwood on Thursday. It leaves Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson with a selection headache ahead his side’s trip to Upton Park on Saturday.

Fernando Torres and Dirk Kuyt are both doubtful for the clash with West Ham, while Joe Cole and Glen Johnson have already been ruled out through injury.

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