Belfast Telegraph

Young suffered racist fans abuse, claim FA

Bulgaria 0 England 3: The FA last night complained to Uefa after racist abuse appeared to be directed towards Ashley Young by Bulgaria supporters during England's Euro 2012 qualifying match in Sofia.

The FA reported the behaviour of a section of home supporters to the Uefa match delegate.

England captain John Terry had not heard the abuse during the game and said it was an issue for the FA and Uefa to deal with.

But after England's 3-0 win, Terry said it was a shock to learn of it.

He said: “You don't expect that at all. It was a great spectacle for everyone to watch this evening. Let's not let that spoil it.”

Goals from Gary Cahill and Wayne Rooney, who netted twice, put England in complete control by half-time and they remained in charge until the final whistle.

Terry added: “It was a really good night. We were hoping for a good start and certainly got that.

“They came at us in the first five or 10 minutes and tried to press us. We spoke of trying to soak it up and it was always going to be difficult in the first 15 to 20 minutes.

“We soaked it up well and after that we played some good football. Some of the football we played was the best for a long time.”

With Montenegro losing to Wales, it became a superb night for Fabio Capello and England, and three points against the Welsh at Wembley next Tuesday would put the home side in a commanding position at the top of Group G, with a place in the finals in sight.

England would then lead by six points ahead of their trip to Montenegro in October, and in those circumstances a draw or better on their travels would see Capello's team qualify.

Terry has always wanted England to build the six-point cushion.

“That'd be ideal. That's what we've played for,” he said. “We always realised with the way Montenegro played at Wembley it was always going to be tough going there.”

Cahill admitted his first international goal had capped a “crazy week” after speculation linking him with a move away from Bolton before Wednesday night's transfer deadline.

“It's been a crazy week — a difficult week really, mentally,” he said after his first competitive start for England.

“But once the window shut I knew obviously I was staying so I'll get my head down and work hard for Bolton and work hard for my country.”

He would have celebrated his goal more excitedly had he been convinced the goal would stand.

“I heard the whistle and thought I was offside — otherwise I would have been a lot more excited than that,” he said.

“When I looked over and saw the flag was down... it was fantastic to get my first goal.

“The result was the most important thing and a good performance by the lads.

“There's a lot of young lads who have come in and that's only good for England.

“I'm just thankful to get the opportunity and you've got to play with a smile on your face.

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling featured at right-back on his debut rather than the more familiar centre-back position, but was pleased with his contribution.

“The manager gave me a job and luckily it paid off. It was good to get the clean sheet,” he said.

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