City ready to cheer Eng­land to vic­tory

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Front Page - By Nick Reinis nick.reinis@pe­ter­bor­oughto­

AS 11 English foot­ballers step on to the pitch in South Africa to­day to bat­tle for the pride of their nation, they will have sup­port from the great and good of Peter­bor­ough be­hind them.

Only a win against Euro­pean coun­ter­parts Slove­nia in the match at Port El­iz­a­beth this af­ter­noon will be enough to guar­an­tee that Eng­land will progress to the sec­ond round of the 2010 World Cup.

An un­think­able draw or de­feat will mean the squad’s fate de­pends on the other Group C game, USA against Al­ge­ria, which will de­cide if Eng­land qual­ify from the group stages.

Sir Win­ston Churchill once fa­mously spoke of his con­fi­dence that English men would do their duty for their coun­try and would prove them­selves to de­fend their home.

But – just in case the for­mer Prime Min­is­ter’s words are not in­spi­ra­tion enough for the Three Lions squad – peo­ple around Peter­bor­ough have been de­liv­er­ing their ral­ly­ing calls.

Lead­ing the cries is Mayor of Peter­bor­ough, Cllr Keith Sharp, who urged the city to for­give the side’s past fail­ings and get be­hind Eng­land.

He said: “I shall be sup­port­ing them rig­or­ously. I will be watch­ing the first half at home, be­fore head­ing to Cam­bridge for a civic duty.”

He pre­dicted: “By half time we will be six-nil up, but then I do live in a but of a fan­tasy world. Se­ri­ously though, I will be sup­port­ing them and I hope the city gets be­hind them.”

Deputy Lord Lieu­tenant of Cam­bridgeshire, Cliff Walker, who was with Cllr Sharp at a cit­i­zen­ship cer­e­mony at Peter­bor­ough Town Hall yes­ter­day, said he is also back­ing the Eng­land team for a vic­tory.

One man who has more to lose then most on Eng­land’s per­for­mance to­day is Peter­bor­ough United striker Craig Mack­ail-Smith.

The 26-year-old star will be forced to swap his kit for kitchen whites if Eng­land leave the tour­na­ment be­fore Italy, fol­low­ing a wa­ger with co-owner of Toscanini res­tau­rant Paolo Bianchi.

If Eng­land do worse than Italy, the Posh player must work 10 shifts wash­ing pots and clear­ing ta­bles in the Eye res­tau­rant. If Eng­land tri­umph over Italy, how­ever, Mr Bianchi will have to clean Craig’s boots for a sea­son.

The striker said: “It’s not look­ing good at the moment. I’ve been shout­ing at the tele­vi­sion, will­ing the boys on in the two matches.

“I could be in a lot of trou­ble be­cause my first­first shift could be to­mor­row evening. But I’ve got faith in the boys.”

As a foot­baller, Craig un­der­stands the pres­sure on the play­ers and as a fan he can ap­pre­ci­ate why they sup­port­ers booed the side af­ter the draw against Al­ge­ria last Fri­day.

He added: “I can un­der­stand why peo­ple were boo­ing at the end of the game. All peo­ple want to see is them giv­ing their all on the pitch.”

How­ever, Peter­bor­ough’s in­fa­mous Fabio Capello look-a-like, Howard Brown, from Wer­ring­ton, feels the man he shares an un­canny re­sem­blance with should ring the changes with his squad.

He said: “I think Steven Ger­rard should go up top with Wayne Rooney and Joe Cole should be in the start­ing line-up. They’ve got to fight like they do in the Premier­ship and play to the full ex­tent of their abil­i­ties. But it could be worse, be­cause we could be in the sit­u­a­tion of France or Spain.”

Peter­bor­ough United di­rec­tor of foot­ball Barry Fry said a win for Eng­land to­day would lift the nation.

He said: “Af­ter yes­ter­day’s bud­get and the re­ces­sion, the whole nation is ready to be lifted and I think Eng­land can do it for us.”

Eng­land’s vi­tal fi­nal Group C game against Slove­nia kicks off at 3pm on BBC1.

SUP­PORT: Cliff Walker, Deputy Lord Lieu­tenant of Cam­bridgeshire and Mayor of Peter­bor­ough, Cllr Keith Sharp, will be cheer­ing on Eng­land in to­day’s big match against Slove­nia.

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