England to keep Capello as national team coach

LONDON (AP) — England will keep Fabio Capello as national soccer coach despite the team's disappointing performance at the World Cup.

Following a 4-1 loss to Germany knocked the English out of the tournament in South Africa, the Football Association said Friday that its board had unanimously agreed Capello deserved to keep his job.

England finished second behind the United States in Group C and advanced to the round of 16, losing to the Germans on Sunday. A day later, Capello had talks with FA board officials amid speculation that he would be fired. He was promised a decision within two weeks.

"I am more determined than ever to succeed with the England team," Capello said. "(Board chairman) Dave Richards has called me to tell me everyone at the FA wants me to continue. I explained it is very important we use the disappointment as a motivation in the future.

"I can assure the fans I am now fully focused on our European qualifying fixtures, starting with the friendly against Hungary in August. We will look to introduce new players to give the team new energy and I will use all my experience to take England forward. I am extremely proud to be the England manager, it means so much to me and I am determined to succeed."

Richards said the four-man Club England board gained the approval of the FA Board to keep Capello on.

"We are all still extremely disappointed at our performance in South Africa, and we believed it was important that we took some time to reflect on everything in a calm and considered manner back in England," Richards said. "After fully discussing our performance we remain convinced that Fabio is the best man for the job."

The coach who guided AC Milan and Real Madrid to multiple titles started work in January 2008 after England failed to qualify for the 2008 European Championship under Steve McClaren. Capello has a contract through Euro 2012.

He led the team to the World Cup with an impressive record of nine wins in 10 qualifying games. But a squad that included Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and John Terry failed to play as well in South Africa as they do individually for their club teams.

Despite an early goal by Gerrard, England was held to a 1-1 draw by the United States after goalkeeper Robert Green muffed a routine shot by Clint Dempsey.

The team was then held to a 0-0 draw by Algeria, a team it was expected to beat easily, producing one of its worst ever World Cup performances. In their final group match, the English beat Slovenia 1-0 to advance.