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Capello’s gamble on Barry

sports Updated: May 30, 2010 00:01 IST

Fabio Capello has admitted he is prepared to take a gamble on the fitness of Gareth Barry because he feels the Manchester City midfielder is so central to his World Cup plans.

Barry injured ankle ligaments in City’s Premier League game against Tottenham on May 5th, and is still unable to train, but Capello is prepared to take him to South Africa even if the midfielder will not be fit until after England’s first Group C game, against the USA, on June 12. England manager said he knew all but three of the 23 who will go to the World Cup in South Africa.

The Italian coach has previously taken a strong line on injured players, but is prepared to give Barry more time to prove his fitness. “Gareth Barry is a very important player. He has played in all the (qualifying) games for us,” said Capello.

“After this game we have to decide if he will be with us in South Africa.”

No contract talks now

Capello has said he will put all contract talks to one side to focus on trying to win the World Cup with England this summer.

Capello has been linked with a return to club management, with Inter Milan said to be interested in taking the Italian coach back to the city where he had such success as a player and manager of AC Milan.