Fabio Capello has named Steven Gerrard as England’s captain for Wednesday’s international friendly against Egypt at Wembley.
The England boss is keen to move on from the John Terry saga ahead of the World Cup.
“The important thing is how the players perform on the pitch and not what happens outside,” Capello said.
The Italian is expecting an “interesting” match on Wednesday and hopes the fans will not jeer Terry.
“We hope to play very well and we invite the fans to help us,” he added.
Capello has been impressed by the way in which his players have trained during their first get-together since November.
“I spoke with the players,” he said. You have to do training really focused because after four months it was really important to do that well. For me now I’m really happy because the spirit is something I remember we had in November.”
With Terry’s replacement, Rio Ferdinand, ruled out of the game because of injury, Gerrard will take over the duty of leading his country against Egypt.
“Being England captain is always a big responsibility. I am delighted that I will be leading the boys out,” said Gerrard.
“The players have a responsibility to forget about what’s being written off the field and focus on what we can do on the pitch.
“We’ve done really well in qualification and I think Wednesday is a fantastic opportunity to show the fans and everyone around the world that we are still united and still a very strong team that has a good chance at the World Cup.”
Capello believes Egypt will provide his men with a good test at Wembley.
“It’s not easy to win the African Nations Cup three times if you are not a good team,” he said.
“I watched Egypt’s games and it is a really, really good team. They are dangerous, they are really well organised on the pitch who know what to do in every moment.
“I think it will be a really interesting test for us.”