Fabio Capello has given Manchester City midfielder, Gareth Barry, more time to prove his fitness for next month’s World Cup.
Instead of revealing the current state of his ankle, Barry has returned to his club for further treatment.
Given England’s side’s below-par first-half display against Mexico at Wembley, Capello is prepared to give Barry as long as possible to get fit.
“Barry always played with me,” Capello said. “After Owen Hargreaves it was Gareth Barry. He is one of the important players, really important.”
In the possible absence of Barry, there have been suggestions that Steven Gerrard could fill the vacant midfield holding role – something Capello is reluctant to consider.
“Steven is really dangerous when he gets close to the box,” Capello added. “If he has to play in the same position as the other midfielders he is good, but he is too far from the box.
“He has to get between two lines, the back four and the midfield. That is where you go to shoot.
“I am lucky because his performance level is always high, but while I like to go forward you always need a holding player in front of the back four.”