England news

England don't fear Bale - Johnson

March 21, 2011
By ESPN staff

Glen Johnson has insisted England will not be losing any sleep over the threat posed by Gareth Bale when they take on Wales in Euro 2012 qualifying at the weekend and says the squad are united under reinstalled skipper John Terry.

Glenn Hoddle: England manager from 1996 to 1999
PA PhotosGlenn Hoddle: England manager from 1996 to 1999

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England are sat in second in their qualifying group behind Montenegro and travel to Wales on Saturday. Gary Speed's side are without a point to their name, but have one of Europe's finest players in their ranks in the guise of Bale. The Tottenham man was in sizzling form prior to picking up a back injury, but is back to fitness now and will carry a threat at the Millennium Stadium.

Liverpool defender Johnson will not take Bale lightly, but insists England are focused on their own game rather than that of the opposition.

"He has been playing really well this season and tearing teams apart," Johnson told Sky Sports News. "Hopefully he won't be doing that. He is obviously a good player, but we will be preparing right and concentrating on ourselves."

John Terry will lead out the team after being handed the captaincy by Fabio Capello. The move to replace the injured Rio Ferdinand with Terry, who was stripped of the captaincy last season, has been a controversial one but Johnson feels it will not divide the squad.

"What has gone on has nothing to do with anybody," Johnson said. "John Terry has been a fantastic captain for Chelsea and with England so I am sure he will do a fantastic job.

"Obviously Rio will be upset to lose the armband. But he is a big man and will pick himself up. The squad is professional and everyone goes about their job the right way and I am sure everything will be fine."