JAMIE Carragher insists an astute piece of management from Fabio Capello has ensured England will not be affected too badly by the loss of Ledley King.
Although the Football Association are yet to publicly state what damage King suffered to his groin during Saturday's draw with the United States, it is widely assumed the scan results will mean 29-year-old is sidelined for a minimum of three weeks.
King would not be available until at least the semi-finals - if England got that far - so either Carragher, Matthew Upson or the uncapped Michael Dawson will have to fill in.
Critics have already condemned Capello for taking a chance on King's fitness, which was placed under the microscope once captain Rio Ferdinand had been ruled out of the tournament with a knee injury.
But Carragher has defended the England coach, believing he has adequate cover to call on.
Carragher said: "Losing Ledley is a blow. He is a top player and it is unfortunate because it is the same position as Rio.
"You can't bring anyone else out now, so any injury is going to hurt the squad.
"But the manager picked five centre-backs in the squad because he knew there could be problems and his selections have been proved right."
The return of Gareth Barry to fill the midfield holding role should provide extra cover against Algeria in Cape Town on Friday as Capello tries to cope with the first serious question marks that have been placed against him since he succeeded Steve McClaren in December 2007.
James Milner's selection turned into a disaster at the weekend, while the position of Robert Green will need close attention given the goalkeeper's major clanger.
Carragher has no fears about Capello's ability to cope.
He might never have managed an international side before being handed his "dream" job with the Three Lions.
But Carragher knows the Italian has been in plenty of high-pressure situations.
"We always think England is big pressure but you have that at AC Milan and Real Madrid on a daily basis," said Carragher.
"Fabio Capello has dealt with that and been successful.
"There was always going to come a point where he was going to be under pressure. That is part of being a manager.
"It can't always be rosy but I'm sure he will have no problem."