Nelson backs exhausted England to bounce back

NELSPRUIT - New Zealand captain Ryan Nelson has blamed the exhausting Premier League for some of England's problems at the World Cup but said on Saturday he still thought Fabio Capello's side could win the tournament.

"I still think they have a great chance to win this," Nelsen said following England's goalless draw against Algeria, which left them fighting for survival in Group C having been held 1-1 by the U.S.

"You in the English media are awful. Spain have lost, Germany have lost, England haven't lost yet and you're still murdering them. I feel sorry for them."

Nelsen, who plays his club football in England with Blackburn Rovers, said the demands of the Premier League were probably weighing on Capello's players.

"Mentally and physically it's the hardest league in the world, it is so draining, and you notice that all the players around the world who have come down with injuries are the Premier League players," he told reporters in Nelspruit, where New Zealand will take on world champions Italy on Sunday.

"It's very tough. These guys play - especially in the top level in the Champions League - they play so many games a season it's incredible."

England's stalemate against Algeria left them third in their group with one match to play, against group leaders Slovenia. Victory would take them through.

New Zealand drew their opening match against Slovakia and have a chance of progressing to the second round for the first time in their history.

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