Fabio Capello has questioned the reaction of the Wembley crowd to the appearance of Joleon Lescott during Saturday’s friendly international against Slovenia.
Manchester City’s new signing Lescott was booed by some sections of the crowd as he replaced West Ham’s Matthew Upson after 64 minutes.
Ashley Cole’s confirmation as man-of-the-match was also met with an unappreciative response, echoing the treatment the left-back received following a mistake against Kazakhstan in October 2008.
The England coach admitted he is bemused to hear the reaction of a minority on Saturday.
“I do not understand why they boo Lescott,” Capello said. “Our fans have to help the players, not boo. All the players are in the England team and you have to support them.”
Capello also defended Glen Johnson after the Liverpool right-back was criticised for his role in Slovenia’s consolation goal on Saturday.
“Sometimes there are mistakes, but he is one of the best right-backs in the world,” said Capello. “The players know when they make a mistake, I am not angry – I am angry when they do not do what we have prepared for in training.”
Capello was speaking ahead of Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier against Croatia and the Italian was quick to play down suggestions that the players were still haunted by the 3-2 defeat to the same opponents in 2007 – a result that ended England’s hopes of reaching the finals of Euro 2008.
“That match is too old, it was too long ago. It is history,” said Capello when asked if he had watched the game.
“I prefer to look at the next game. I do not speak about a game that they played two years ago. I have to motivate the players for tomorrow, not what happened two years ago. They will go into this game thinking about how we won in Croatia.”