Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Early Goal Could Give Us Lift-Off for Finals, Says Terry

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Early Goal Could Give Us Lift-Off for Finals, Says Terry

Article excerpt

Byline: David Smith Football Correspondent

JOHN TERRY wants to give England supporters a reason to raise the roof at Wembley by making another fast start against Wales in tonight's crucial European Championship qualifier.

Terry dismissed England's lack of form at their spiritual home -- the last four games at Wembley have failed to produce a win -- as merely "a blip". But before kick-off against resurgent opposition the England captain will tell his players to get the fans on side by finding the net as quickly as possible.

The value of scoring early was underlined at the Millennium Stadium in March, when England dowsed the Welsh dragon's fire with a double strike inside 13 minutes, and again in Bulgaria on Friday when they went two up after 21 minutes on the way to a comfortable 3-0 win.

Recalling that first victory in Cardiff, Terry said: "Everyone expected a really tough game there but we started well and went a couple of goals up, which made it easy in the end. Ideally, it would be nice to get off to another good start, like we did in Bulgaria."

The Chelsea defender has been around the Wembley block enough times, however, to recognise that what he might wish for is not always granted. Therefore, he added a plea for patience should England fail to get into their stride early on.

He said: "We've seen at times that things don't go the way you planned. If that happens against Wales we've got to remain patient. That goes for the players and it goes for the fans. It's important they stay with us to the end of 90 minutes.

We can be judged after that."

Recent judgements on England's efforts at Wembley have been harsh. Since a rampant 4-0 win over Bulgaria in September last year, home supporters of the Three Lions have endured kitten-like performances in a defeat by France and draws with Montenegro, Ghana and Switzerland.

England have roared on their travels, with wins in Switzerland, Wales and Bulgaria giving them a 100 per cent away record in the European Championships.

However, Terry insists the team's home form is not a cause for concern. …

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