Former Nottingham Forest star Trevor Francis has likened England boss Fabio Capello to Brian Clough.
Cloughie, regarded by many as one of the greatest English managers of all time, made Francis the subject of the first £1million transfer fee in British football more than 30 years ago.
“A huge factor in giving England a chance of winning the World Cup in South Africa is the manager,” said Francis. “When I played for Forest it was very reassuring that Clough was there on the sidelines. He gave us self-belief.
“It is the same with Capello. Like Clough, he has an aura about him that inspires players.
“Players look at his CV and know he is a winner. He gives them unbelievable self-belief on the pitch.”
Former Forest, Birmingham and Manchester City star Francis was labelled by Capello the best English player to feature in Serie A.
“What he’s achieved is outstanding. But there’s got to be a touch of realism.
“We haven’t cracked it. This is only part one. We have to do well in the tournament. With respect to the teams in our qualifying group, it will be harder in South Africa.”