Confident England skipper Terry urges Bilic: Attack and give us the chance to win

John Terry is determined to silence Slaven Bilic by leading England to a famous victory in Zagreb tonight.

The Chelsea and England captain has been left seething by critical comments made by Croatia’s coach over the standard of Fabio Capello’s team and will use the jibes as motivation.

In newspaper reports, Bilic has questioned the development of Wayne Rooney and whether England will be able to cope without Steven Gerrard, who has a groin injury. 


Pillar of strength: John Terry supports Chellsea team-mates Frank Lampard (left) and Joe Cole

He also angered Terry with a claim that the centre-half had boasted his side would win their second match of their World Cup qualifying campaign 3-0.

Terry said: 'We don’t want to get involved with Slaven Bilic and Croatia. Let him do all the talking. I think he said something about us beating them 3-0 which I clearly didn’t say. 

'He is just getting out there what he wants, but we just have to ignore him, not worry what Croatia are doing and concentrate on ourselves. I’m sure we’ll do okay. Hopefully, Croatia will be confident and come out and attack, and that will open up the game for us.

'We have a big game to get out of the way early on and, if we win, it will be a great start to the campaign. We know they haven’t lost here for a long time and it’s going to be tough, but we’re aiming for the win.'


That's how much I respect England: Croatia boss Slaven Bilic is pulling no punches

On Tuesday, Bilic questioned the influence of big clubs on the national team given Gerrard’s absence due to a groin operation.

He added: 'I’m relieved Gerrard won’t be there. I’m relieved big time. The blow couldn’t be bigger for England.'

Bilic claimed that he had read in the Croatia newspapers of Terry’s 3-0 prediction
and insisted Rooney 'should be playing better for England.'

Today, he queried the influence of Capello on the squad since his appointment in January, adding: 'I don’t detect any changes in England under Capello [compared to Steve McClaren].'

Terry is adamant the players are in a better frame of mind than the last time they faced Croatia at the Maksimir Stadium, when they lost 2-0 in a Euro 2008 qualifier two years ago. 


Fighting talk: John Terry

England had drawn 0-0 at home to lowly Macedonia just four days before and then coach Steve McClaren decided to change tactics against Bilic’s side by playing three at the back.

But, according to Terry, Capello’s side are going into the match with more confidence despite only beating minnows Andorra 2-0 on Saturday.

Terry added: 'The big difference is that this time we are coming here having been lifted by a win. Two years ago we drew 0-0 to Macedonia and that was really disappointing. To come here after that made it even worse.

'We may have beaten Andorra only 2-0, but we have got three points on the board and that’s all that matters. We will keep it a bit more simple this time. We went three at the back two years ago and I’m sure we will have four this time, we are more solid that way.'

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