BARCELONA (AFP) - England's senior players, including David Beckham and John Terry, are attempting to quash any talk of revenge as they prepare for a World Cup qualifier against Croatia in Zagreb on Wednesday that could begin to define the new Fabio Capello era.
It was Croatia who dramatically ended England's hopes of qualifying for the Euro 2008 finals when they won 3-2 at Wembley last November, a result that ultimately led to the sacking of Head Coach Steve McClaren.
Slaven Bilic's side also beat McClaren's team 2-0 at home during the same campaign and the wounds from both those defeats still fester for many players in the England camp.
Their return to Zagreb, so early in the World Cup qualifying campaign, is certain to bring calls for both revenge and redemption but Beckham, in particular, is anxious to avoid any further hype.
Having stuttered to a 2-0 victory over Andorra in their opening match in Group 6 this is hardly the time for England to indulge in overblown statements, particularly as they have yet to impress under new manager Capello - the man brought in at great expense to save English football from another summer home alone in 2010.
"It's not about having a score to settle," insisted Beckham. "We just want to get a good result and put a good performance in, that's the thing.
"It's not about settling old scores and old games we've played against Croatia because we know they are a tough team, we know they've got some really good player and we know it's very hostile there.
"We have to forget about what has gone on in the past. This is the present and we have to work towards what we want to achieve in this group."
Beckham's message was echoed by his captain Terry in Barcelona, where England will continue to be based until flying to Zagreb on Monday evening.
Terry said: "I don't want to get across any kind of revenge message but, at the same time, it's a new campaign and we are going there to pick up three points so if we can get off to a good six-point start then we will take that.
"We have to rise to the challenge. We know it's difficult and we know they have not been beaten there for a long time. We have to go there with a clean slate and not think about the last game we played against them."
It will be interesting to see what changes, if any, Capello makes to his team after he needed Joe Cole to come off the bench and save England against Andorra with two quick goals early in the second half at the Estadi Olimpic.
Certainly Cole will hope to replace the ineffective Stewart Downing in the starting line-up while Beckham, left on the bench against Andorra as Arsenal winger Theo Walcott was handed his debut, is tipped to return in Zagreb where experience will be crucial.
But the former England captain is positioning himself very much as a team player these days.
He said: "We will have to wait and see if I start the next game. At the end of the day it's all about a squad, I've already said that. I was happy to get on and get another cap but I think the players stuck together against Andorra, and we have done all week.
"We've worked hard together as a unit, not just the starting 11 but everybody else that's in the squad. Obviously I've got experience but there's other players that are younger than me that have got experience just by the fact that they have played in some of the biggest games in the world.
"We've got that experience and we will need it on Wednesday."
|Sutton United 0 Arsenal 2: Perez and Walcott break minnows´ stern resolve|
|Walcott brings up 100 goals for Arsenal|
|Simeone will make late Oblak call for Leverkusen clash|
|AFC Champions League Review: In-form El Arabi gives Lekhwiya dream start, Diop saves Al Ahli|
|Fabinho disagrees with Guardiola over favourites tag|
|Guardiola hails Bielsa as best in the world|
|Jardim insists Monaco will not change style for Manchester City clash|
|Clattenburg´s Premier League career not over yet|
|Dortmund could renew Tuchel deal|
|Chicharito return to form boosts Schmidt´s Leverkusen for Atletico test|
|Iniesta sees Verratti as his successor - Matuidi|
|Ramos did not make history at Sevilla like me - Alves questions Real Madrid captain|
|Vertonghen feels Tottenham deserve silverware|
|Agent denies Lucas Perez exit claims|
|Barcelona forward Neymar to stand trial after losing appeal|
|City history can´t compare to United, Liverpool – De Bruyne wants to make Champions League impressio|
|Europa League the priority for United´s Mata as EFL Cup final looms|
|Winning the FA Cup ´may not save Wenger´|
|Falcao perfect for ´killers´ Monaco - Guardiola wary of Champions League threat to Manchester City|
|Ancelotti asked to explain middle finger gesture|
|Ribery closing in on Bayern Munich return|
|Nani eager for improving Valencia to tackle Real Madrid|
|Rashford eyes Chelsea revenge after huge FA Cup draw|
|Glorious Griezmann and Aguero´s knockout drought - Champions League in Opta numbers|
|Otamendi´s agent talks up Real Madrid switch|
|He has to get used to it – Montella reacts to Bacca boos|
|Low hopes to discover Germany´s Luis Suarez|
|Mourinho unsure if Rooney will recover for EFL Cup final|
|Rami rejects talk of Marseille switch|
|Tarnat tips Manchester City´s Sane to become Germany star|
|I don´t see why he should quit - Begovic tips Terry to continue|
|PSG ´weakened´ without Ibrahimovic, claims Monaco´s Bakayoko|
|Low believes in ´locksmith´ Gotze|
|No pain, no gain for Cristiano Ronaldo|
|Barcelona have no idea how to treat players - Dani Alves slams Camp Nou board|
|Low: Germany´s youngsters must be good enough to beat Messi and Ronaldo|
|Mandorlini replaces Juric at Genoa|
|Liverpool could face ´new´ Leicester – Klopp|
|Corchia excited by Bielsa arrival but Lille future remains uncertain|
|Wenger: I threw up after first loss as coach|
|Conte wants fairytale finish for Terry|
|Iniesta: Barcelona haven´t lost faith in Luis Enrique|
|Mourinho knew Ibrahimovic would be ´massive´ for United|
|Ter Stegen doesn´t understand Barcelona fans whistling|
|´He is doing a fantastic job´ – Bartomeu backs Luis Enrique|
|Guardiola slams ´unacceptable´ Wenger treatment|
|Spalletti: Roma goal machine Dzeko now believes he´s world class|
|Emery refuses to blame referee after PSG are held|
|Montella dedicates AC Milan win to Berlusconi|
|The players don´t need whistles – Luis Enrique hits out at fans|
|Brazilian game called off due to TV dispute|
|Chelsea are already Premier League champions, says United boss Mourinho|
|Barcelona 2 Leganes 1: Late Messi penalty spares Ter Stegen´s blushes|
|Paris Saint-Germain 0 Toulouse 0: Champions spill valuable points|
|AC Milan 2 Fiorentina 1: Deulofeu strike keeps European hopes alive|
|Attitude got Man United through - Mourinho|
|Roma 4 Torino 1: Dzeko strikes again|
|Lincoln face Sutton or Arsenal in FA Cup quarter-finals, Chelsea host Man United|
|Neuer slams Jarstein after brawl|
|Blackburn Rovers 1 Manchester United 2: Substitutes Pogba and Ibrahimovic combine for late winner|
|Inter insist Perisic going nowhere, rule out move for Verratti|
|Borussia Monchengladbach 1 RB Leipzig 2: Forsberg and Werner reignite title bid|
|Training-ground meetings paid dividends - Pochettino|
|I´m trying to find a team - Berbatov open to offers|
|Inspired by Zeman´s return, Pescara hammer Genoa 5-0|
|Gabigol wants to make history after Inter breakthrough|
|Chievo 1 Napoli 3: Sarri´s men bounce back from Champions League disappoitment|
|Alfonso Perez calls for Pique to quit international football over political beliefs|
|Benatia refuses to question Allegri´s decisions|
|Fulham 0 Tottenham 3: Kane hat-trick fires Spurs into quarter-finals|
|Oblak return boosts Atletico ahead of Leverkusen trip|
|Gabigol and Inter ready to feast on success after late winner|
|Bologna 0 Inter 1: Gabigol gets belated lift-off in Serie A|
|Still no Mascherano or Arda for Barcelona|
|Bielsa appointed Lille boss from next season|
|Janssen determined to make the grade at Tottenham|
|Stones missing Kompany influence at Manchester City - Ferdinand|
|Central Coast Mariners 0 Melbourne Victory 3: Muscat´s men cruise to win|
|David Villa sent off after video replay|
|Favre not blaming Balotelli for latest red card|
|´It is my future at stake´ – Isco could leave Real Madrid|
|Smalling desperate for Ibrahimovic stay|
|´He will be here for sure´ - Mourinho rules out Shaw exit|
|Wenger not ready for retirement, wants Arsenal stay|
|Pogba will soon look cheap, claims Manchester United boss Mourinho|
|Casilla defends under-fire Navas|
|Isco ´happy and committed´ at Real Madrid – Zidane|