RUSTENBURG, June 15- England's flagging World Cup campaign was given a badly-needed lift on Tuesday when star striker Wayne Rooney and Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole returned to training.The duo had been restricted to gym and pool work following knocks in England’s disappointing 1-1 draw with the United States in their group C opener.
But they were both able to join in with their team-mates at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Campus as Fabio Capello fine-tuned his preparations for Friday’s must-win meeting with Algeria in Cape Town.
With Gareth Barry, whose steadying influence in the midfield holding role was badly missed against the Americans, now working flat out following his recovery from an ankle injury, the only absentee was Ledley King, who is not expected to play any further part in the tournament.
King, drafted in to replace injured skipper Rio Ferdinand, had to come off at half-time on Saturday with a groin strain and with him definitely out of the Algeria match, Liverpool’s Jamie Carragher is expected to start alongside John Terry in central defence in Cape Town.
Carragher’s performance as a second-half substitute on Saturday received mixed reviews with the 32-year-old having been exposed by the pace of Jozy Altidore at times, as well as being lucky to avoid a red card for fouling the American striker.
Carragher, who came out of international retirement to join England’s squad, insisted he was confident he could forge an effective partnership with Chelsea’s Terry, and that England would put themselves back on track to top the group by beating the Algerians.
"Every player has different strengths and weaknesses, no player has everything," he said.
"I’m certainly not slow but I’m not the quickest. If you are playing against a quick striker you play deeper. If there’s a slow striker you push up. The reason myself and John Terry are at this level is that we are good at reading the game rather than having outstanding pace.
"The best partner I had at Liverpool was Sami Hyypia and he was slower than me and John Terry but it’s about understanding and getting in the right position."
Carragher was also keen to remind his critics that he is a player who has excelled in the Champions League, a competition he believes provides a higher level of performance and competition than is on offer at the World Cup.
"Champions League is the highest level because teams can go and buy whoever they want," he argued.
"But the pressure of playing (for England) is more intense than playing for your club.
"That is the difference, but as far as players on the pitch are concerned I think Barcelona would give Brazil and Spain a game. Most players play better for their clubs because they are used to it."
Carragher had no doubt that Barry would return to the side, which will enable his Liverpool team-mate Steven Gerrard to push forward from a starting position on the left of midfield with England hoping to make the most of his good understanding with Rooney.
"He (Barry) showed in qualifying how good he is and we’ve not got too many players like that so he’s obviously done a good job for England. I’m sure if the manager thinks he’s fit he’ll probably put him back in."
Barry himself insisted he had no fear of a setback following the ligament damage he suffered in Manchester City’s penultimate Premier League match of the season, revealing that he could, if asked, have featured against the United States.
"The ankle has been fine for ten days," he said. "Another week’s training in the lead-up to the Algeria game and I should be spot on."
Barry was overlooked by former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson for the 2002 and 2006 World Cup squads but, having established himself as one Capello’s automatic picks, is desperate to be involved here.
"When the injury came, it felt like it was one of those things, that it (the World Cup) was not going to happen. But it was important I never stopped believing." Barry told BBC Radio.