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Beckham confident of facing Germany
( 2001-08-31 10:19 ) (7 )

David Beckham has given England a big boost by saying he expects to be fit for Saturday's World Cup qualifier against Germany.

The England captain, who has a groin injury, underwent a light training session at Bisham Abbey on Thursday before flying out with the rest of the squad to Germany.

"I had a run this morning and I felt a lot better and I think I'll be fit for Saturday," he told a news conference on his arrival in Munich. "I'll have a fitness test tomorrow or Saturday."

Beckham, who was injured in Manchester United's 1-1 draw with Aston Villa last weekend, admitted the speed of his recovery, after extensive treatment, had been a surprise.

"When I came off on Sunday, I definitely thought I had no chance of even meeting up with the squad," he said. "To be honest, I was gutted. You want to play in the big games and there's no bigger than this.

"This morning was the first day that I've actually felt I will be fit...running today I felt great, to be honest."

Beckham's presence is vital to England's chances at the Olympic stadium.

They trail group nine leaders Germany by six points and need to win to maintain a realistic hope of overhauling them to grab the automatic qualification spot.


The midfielder, who put his recovery down to a combination of massage and laser treatment, did not anticipate turning to a pain-killing injection to make the team, or to putting the tie in jeopardy by playing while not fit.

"I'd take a certain amount of a gamble but I wouldn't (play) if I was going to be a threat to the performance of the team," he said. "And I wouldn't take an injection...I've never done it in my whole career so I probably wouldn't start now."

And he quipped: "I just don't like needles full stop."

Beckham said England were determined to put their friendly defeat by the Netherlands behind them, along with the 1-0 loss to Germany at Wembley in last October's qualifier.

"We all knew after the game that we'd shown the Dutch too much respect but we definitely won't be doing that on Saturday.

"We've not come over here to get a draw, even though some have said that a draw wouldn't be a bad result. We've come over to win the game.

"There's a lot of young lads in the squad and everyone's eager to do well and I think that's the best thing about this squad. Every player want to prove themselves, and that's the future of England out there at the moment."


Looking back to last October's defeat, Beckham made it clear there was a desire in the squad to settle a score with the Germans.

"Obviously, we all know we let ourselves down at Wembley but the way we felt after the game is what we want the Germans to feel after Saturday.

"We were very disappointed.... annoyed with ourselves and upset for the fans and everyone to do with the country. So it's a way of getting our own back on the Germans on Saturday hopefully."

And he added: "The will do well in this game is immense for every player."



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