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Ferdinand credits entire team for England's strong defensive record

Ferdinand credits entire team for England's strong defensive record

England hasn't conceded a goal in its three games under manager Steve McClaren, and defender Rio Ferdinand said that's a credit to everyone on the team.
McClaren replaced Sven-Goran Eriksson after England lost to Portugal in the quarterfinals of the World Cup. The team has since beaten European champion Greece in a friendly, and Andorra and Macedonia in European Championship qualifying games.
England hopes to add another shutout when Macedonia visits Old Trafford on Saturday. The team then visits Croatia on Wednesday.
"It's down to the whole unit," Ferdinand said. "Defensively for quite a few games we've been consistent, but I wouldn't just put that down to the keeper or the back four. It's the (whole) team.
"If we are going to be successful then the front boys have to start the defensive duties and we have to follow it through to the goalkeeper."
Adding England's last two results under Eriksson, goalkeeper Paul Robinson has not conceded a goal in five games. England beat Ecuador 1-0 in the second round of the World Cup before losing a penalty shootout to Portugal after a 0-0 draw.
"I'm going into the games very confident at the moment," Robinson said. "And in the two games coming up, hopefully I'll extend my run of clean sheets."
Although England's defense now seems solid, most of the attention ahead of Saturday's game has been on the return of Wayne Rooney after injury and suspension. There is speculation that the Manchester United striker is due to start up front with Peter Crouch in a 3-5-2 formation.
While Crouch has scored 11 goals in his last 10 games for England, Rooney has not hit the target since United's opening game of the Premier League season and has not scored a competitive goal for England since Euro 2004.
"Fitness-wise, definitely he's improving. He's getting stronger in the latter part of games," Ferdinand said. "The goals will come. But Wayne has other things than goals. He puts people on goal.
"He attracts players to him because of his quality and gives other people space. So, if you're not seeing him score, sometimes he's doing other things."


Updated : 2021-05-08 22:41 GMT+08:00