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England won't be fazed - Collingwood

ICC World Twenty20 West Indies 2010

Paul Collingwood

“We are confident but not too confident. The boys really do know their roles in the side," said Paul Collingwood after training at Gros Islet in St Lucia

Paul Collingwood is content his squad are in the right frame of mind ahead of England’s most important Twenty20 game in their history.

Collingwood was involved in his country's first Twenty20 international, in 2005 against Australia at the Rose Bowl, and is set to win his 30th cap tomorrow.

While there is a mix of Twenty20 international experience in England's squad, the captain believes there are no signs of big-match nerves in the camp.

Consequently, Collingwood sees no point in stirring the players up with any extra motivational speeches ahead of the showdown with Sri Lanka at the Beausejour Stadium in Gros Islet, St Lucia.

“I don’t need it. The guys are ready; they are excited,” said Collingwood, who was expecting the return of Kevin Pietersen from attending the birth of his first child today.

“If there was a feeling around the camp that the guys are nervous or anything like that then maybe something would have to be said.

“But the guys are so confident and focused on the jobs they’ve got to do, the roles they’ve got to play. We’ll have a team meeting tonight, but let me tell you I’m not going to come out with any rip-roaring speech.”

England’s self-belief has been evident from the start of this tournament: having negotiated the initial group stage, they boasted a 100% record in the Super Eight phase.

Their success so far has shown that confidence to be well-placed, and it remains as strong as ever - against opponents who were Lord’s finalists in last year’s edition of this tournament.

“We’re confident that if we put similar performances in we’re going to win,” Collingwood added.

“We’re not going overboard because we’ve got to give Sri Lanka a lot of respect - they’re a great Twenty20 side - but if we play anything like we can, we’re confident we can win.”

England’s unbeaten Super Eight campaign is another reason for Collingwood’s optimism, because he is an advocate of the concept that success breeds success.

“I know I keep harping back to IPLs and things like this, but we won three on the trot with Delhi and then kind of took our foot off the gas a little bit,” he said.

“It is amazing how one defeat can turn the confidence. So it was crucial to go out against New Zealand especially, once we had made the semis, and put in another strong performance.

“I just had a real sense when we turned up, with the squad that we had, we made some great selections from the start - and they have really come good for us.

“We are confident but not too confident. The boys really do know their roles in the side - and I think that, keeping that same side, it has really helped everyone to help understand their own and each other’s games.

“There was a real belief there from the start, and the boys can’t wait to play tomorrow.”

England, ICC World Twenty20 2010

England, minus Kevin Pietersen who was due to rejoin the squad later, pose at the Beausejour Stadium

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