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Capello backing England for knockout stage

Former England coach Fabio Capello has backed them to qualify for the Euro 2012 knockout stages. "When England's players ran out against France, of course there was an emotion - I felt it," he told the Daily Mail.

"England are part of my heart, I worked with the players and the people in the country for four years."

Although he expects England to reach the knockout stages the 65-year-old added Ukraine will be a difficult proposition.

"The first game for England, against France, was so important because the pressure on the manager and the team is really, really strong," he said.

"Neither team took any risks, they didn't have the confidence to do that because it was the first match of the tournament. England defended well. Joe Hart is an excellent goalkeeper and he made some really important saves.

"They have key players in important positions. Steven Gerrard is dangerous from long distance and free-kicks and John Terry is the spirit of the team. He drives the players in front of him.

"They will qualify because I still feel like it is my job. I hope Roy is happy after the third game. I want them to win.

"The problem now is the Ukraine result because they were not expecting them to beat Sweden, but Andriy Shevchenko is a different player for the national team."

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Dave Williams

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