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."
|Klopp targeting a trophy at Liverpool every year|
|Granada suspend recruit Angulo over failed drugs test|
|City vow to find Hart a new club|
|Palace blast ´ridiculous´ Zaha bid from Tottenham|
|Bravo: Barca will always be in my heart|
|Almost zero chance of Juventus signing James - Marotta|
|Liverpool´s Coutinho could miss Tottenham clash|
|Bilic ´angry and frustrated´ as West Ham crash out of Europe|
|Begiristain confident despite tough group for City|
|West Ham 0 Astra 1 (1-2 agg): Romanian minnows embarrass Hammers again|
|Hammers sign Swiss midfielder Fernandes|
|Humble Ronaldo hails team-mates following UEFA award|
|Krul joins Ajax on loan after signing new Newcastle deal|
|Leicester underdogs again in Champions League - Ranieri|
|Bale gunning for Champions League glory in Cardiff|
|Juventus additions strengthen Champions League bid - Marotta|
|Tuchel relishing ´classic´ Madrid Champions League encounter|
|Changed Burnley determined to survive|
|Ronaldo named UEFA Best Player in Europe for second time|
|Champions League draw in full|
|Guardiola handed Barca return with City in Champions League|
|Guidolin calls on Swansea to avenge Leicester thrashings|
|Eduardo completes Chelsea switch|
|Not easy to see Higuain at Juve - Cannavaro|
|Puel insists Fonte focused on Southampton|
|Ranieri knows Leicester are wanted men in Champions League|
|Puel backs Forster to take England chance|
|Cannavaro questions Juve´s European credentials after Pogba exit|
|Milan: Romagnoli not for sale, despite Chelsea bid|
|´Nobody more exciting than Michail Antonio´ - West Ham chairman|
|Pochettino prioritising transfers over new deals|
|Bravo completes Manchester City switch|
|No Barcelona bid for Mariano, insist Sevilla|
|Rashford drops down to England Under-21 squad|
|Koeman: No Everton interest in Hart|
|Ancelotti has it all - Ballack|
|Nolito eager for Champions League challenge|
|Evra dropped from France squad|
|Oliver Torres agrees Porto return|
|Ancelotti sees no need for Bayern revolution|
|Messi´s Roma goal wins UEFA award|
|Maradona questions Messi U-turn|
|Napoli pledge funds to earthquake victims|
|Hughes confirms Stoke interest in Manchester United defender Jones|
|Bentaleb completes Schalke switch|
|Klopp: Balotelli decision not imminent|
|Manquillo makes Sunderland move|
|Barca complete Cillessen signing|
|Hummels surprised by criticism from Dortmund fans|
|Blatter will accept CAS ruling|
|I do not want Sturridge as a wide player, insists Klopp|
|Schalke close in on Bentaleb and Stambouli|
|Wanted man Sukur denounces coup|
|´Everyone knows my best position´ - Sturridge unhappy at wide role|
|Villa says Alcacer ´knows what to do´ amid Barcelona links|
|Solo ´saddened´ by United States axing|
|Drinkwater signs new Leicester deal|
|Spanish clubs dominate as history beckons for Ancelotti - the Champions League in numbers|
|Lopes sets sights on Lille silverware and Portugal breakthrough|
|´A scholar and a monster´ - Surgeon hails ´unique´ Ronaldo|
|MLS Review: Altidore scores as Toronto move top in east, Galaxy rally|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Tigres win, Dallas held|
|Victory lure Rojas back to Melbourne|
|Chaplow suspended two games for verbal abuse, denies homophobia|
|Eduardo farewells Dinamo Zagreb amid Chelsea speculation|
|Zidane shoud give James more respect - Asprilla|
|Solo suspended from USA women´s team for six months|
|Guardiola understands fans unhappiness over Hart situation|
|Burnley and Middlesbrough sent packing from League Cup|
|Coleman baffled by Ramsey´s treatment at Arsenal|
|Six of the best for Gladbach as Rostov rout Ajax|
|Leicester face Chelsea, Northampton host United in League Cup third round|
|Cillessen set to fly out to Barca to complete move|
|Guardiola hails ´legend´ Hart as Bravo wait in the wings|
|Emotional Hart edges towards City exit|
|Manchester City 1 Steaua Bucharest 0 (6-0 agg): City ease through amid Hart-felt goodbyes|
|Ronaldo working hard for Madrid return|
|Pique warns of European Super League dangers|
|AFC Champions League: Damjanovic inspires Seoul, Wanderley puts Al Nasr in charge|
|Rauball re-elected as German league president|
|Cillessen returns for Ajax despite Barcelona talk|
|Surgery for Pereira after De Rossi horror challenge|
|Hart set for City farewell against Steaua|
|CAF Champions League Review: Wydad draw at ZESCO to earn top spot|
|Retiring Keane in Republic of Ireland squad for final time|
|Sion in talks to sign Liverpool outcast Balotelli, claims club president|
|Athletic´s Laporte not distracted by Barcelona visit|
|Keane announces international retirement|
|Clarke named FA chairman|
|Neuer: Schweinsteiger remains one of world´s best|
|Bielsa would call me before coming to Marseille - Passi|
|Watford bring in Janmaat from Newcastle|
|FIFA opens adjudicatory proceedings against disgraced African football officials|
|European Super League could cause ´war´|
|Sampdoria pounce for Praet|
|Zaza agent confirms Napoli talks but rules out loan move|
|No Grigg in Northern Ireland´s World Cup qualifying squad|
|Cahill reflects on ´amazing´ Melbourne City debut|
|Europa League must take priority, Recoba tells Inter|
|Saint-Etienne swoop for Saivet and Veretout|
|Ronaldo: Pepe was the best player at the Euros, not Griezmann|
|Schweinsteiger: Manchester United my last club in Europe|
|Dante sees Nice as a positive move|
|Pique: Barcelona by far the best in Spain|
|Pique backs Stones for success under Pep|
|Coleman dismisses Premier League talk|
|Spurs want Calhanoglu, claims agent|
|Bony an ´option´ for Bilic|
|Leverkusen cannot challenge Bayern, says Ballack|
|Pallotta blasts ´disgusting´ referee after Roma defeat|
|Badstuber taking his time after injury nightmare|
|Conte: Terry return between him and Allardyce|
|We beat Bayern to Dembele - Watzke|
|Wanderers bring back Bulut|
|Moyes rules out Kone exit|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Whitecaps, Pachuca win big|
|Bale: I´ll never forget this year|
|Griezmann: I deserve Best Player in Europe Award|
|No surgery for Ayew as West Ham target December return|
|Villarreal did all they could to make it through - Escriba|
|Spalletti rues lack of Roma discipline|
|Conte: Chelsea must learn to kill matches|
|Watford and West Brom crash out of League Cup|
|My longest 90 minutes as a coach - Rodgers|