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World Cup Group D

No Rooney issues for Hodgson

England coach Roy Hodgson insists he has no concerns over Wayne Rooney's disciplinary record.

Last Updated: 15/03/13 at 08:54 Post Comment

Roy Hodgson: Backing Wayne Rooney

Roy Hodgson: Backing Wayne Rooney

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The Manchester United striker has been sent off twice in his England career, with his most recent red card coming against Montenegro, who Hodgson's men face in a crucial World Cup qualifier in Podgorica on March 26.

Rooney was sent off for kicking out at Montenegro's Miodrag Dzudovic in a Euro 2012 qualifier in the same city 17 months ago in a game which ended 2-2 after England had led 2-0.

It meant Rooney was banned from the opening two games of Euro 2012 against France and Sweden and he lacked sharpness on his return.

Hodgson intends to speak to all the players about keeping their discipline against the current group leaders, but will not single out Rooney.

He said: "I don't think I will speak to Wayne personally on the matter because he is more than aware (of what happened).

"When you have been sent off in a game, you don't forget your sendings off.

"His disciplinary record actually, ignoring that occasion which he paid dearly for, has been very good.

"I will be speaking to all the players. Away matches at this level of football require a lot of discipline, not only tactical discipline but also mental.

"But I won't be singling out Wayne for that. He has not let me down as a player so I have no reason to doubt him."

Confidence

Rooney was left out of the starting XI for Manchester United's UEFA Champions League encounter with Real Madrid 10 days ago.

But Hodgson does not expect to find himself dealing with a player lacking in confidence when England meet up on Monday evening to prepare for the San Marino and Montenegro qualifiers.

Hodgson said: "He's scoring goals isn't he? There's no reason for his confidence to be fragile. He's played so many games, he's so experienced."

Montenegro would go five points clear of England if they win in 12 days' time but Hodgson is adamant the outcome of the game is not make or break in terms of qualification.

He said: "It's very important, extremely important that we play well, and give a good performance. If we can get a good result, of course it will help our cause.

"I'm not prepared to say if we don't win, that's our chances finished. That would be a very foolish thing to do with 12 points left to play for."

Squad: Forster, Foster, Hart, Baines, Cahill, Cole, Dawson, Ferdinand, Johnson, Smalling, Walker, Carrick, Cleverley, Gerrard, Lampard, Lennon, Milner, Osman, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Parker, Walcott, Young, Defoe, Rooney, Sturridge, Welbeck.

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