England fans preparing to witness soccer with a flair from their World Cup team may be disappointed, with midfielder Joe Cole cautioning that winning the tournament could require dull displays.

Cole believes the key to capturing the country's first world title since 1966 could be by stifling opponents - emulating the tactics Jose Mourinho, his former coach at Chelsea, employed as Inter Milan won the Champions League last month.

"It might not be pretty," Cole warned ahead of Saturday's World Cup opener against the United States.

The performances leading up to the tournament provided little evidence of England being an attacking force in South Africa.

Mexico was beaten, 3-1, but England relied on two own goals to overcome Japan, 2-1, and then put on a slack display against South African side the Platinum Stars that provoked the wrath of coach Fabio Capello despite a 3-0 win.

"These games are always difficult - before the last World Cup we beat Jamaica and Hungary and we were brilliant," Cole said. "So maybe it is not a bad thing that we are not firing on all cylinders. We are not going into the World Cup thinking we are going to steamroller everyone.

"The way that we set up to play is try to play the pressing games. You have to think that, just because the other team has the ball, it doesn't mean that they are doing anything."

And following Mourinho's game plan should serve England well at the World Cup, Cole said.

"Look at Inter Milan, they won the Champions League, but I don't think they had the ball more than any team from the quarterfinals onwards," he said. "Even Bayern Munich had 60 percent of the ball [in the final], but you look at the game and Inter Milan was comfortable.

"There was no danger from Bayern at all apart from Arjen Robben every now and then. So you don't have to have the ball to control the pace of the game."


* A Portuguese photographer was held up at gunpoint and two other journalists also were robbed at the same World Cup hotel.

Antonio Simoes said he woke up around 4 a.m. and found two men entering his room at the Nutbush Boma Lodge outside of Magaliesburg, 75 miles northwest of Johannesburg.

"One of the guys pointed a hand gun at my head, and then they took all my gear - cameras, lenses, laptop," said Simoes, who works for the Portuguese daily O Jogo. "Then they told me to lie on the bed and they covered me with a blanket, pressed the gun against my head and told me to sleep.

"The whole thing took 1 or 2 minutes, but it felt like hours," Simoes told the Associated Press.

Simoes said the three cameras and gear the thieves stole was worth about $35,000. They also took about $4,000 in cash, his passport and a pair of jeans.

Police recovered his World Cup accreditation - without which a journalist can't cover the tournament - near the hotel. Simoes said he plans to stay in South Africa and hopes to borrow cameras to work during the competition.

Spanish journalist Miguel Serrano, who works for the Spanish sports newspaper Marca, and Rui Gustavo Morais were also robbed, but they slept through it. The three were staying in a detached, four-room lodge that looks out over the Magaliesburg Mountains.

* Switzerland captain Alex Frei sprained his right ankle during the team's final preparations before flying to South Africa.

Frei was able to join the team for its departure to South Africa, but it's uncertain when he'll be ready to play.