Wembley Stadium

Next Game

England v Lithuania

Friday, 27 March 2015, 19:45

European Qualifiers Group E

Celtic Park

Last Game

Scotland 1 - 3 England

Tuesday, 18 November 2014, 20:00

International Match

Hodgson sure of Rooney focus

Roy Hodgson is confident the continued speculation over Wayne Rooney's future will not be to England's detriment as they prepare for a crucial World Cup qualifying double-header.

Last Updated: 27/08/13 at 17:32 Post Comment

Wayne Rooney: Backing from Roy Hodgson

Wayne Rooney: Backing from Roy Hodgson

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Rooney was an expected inclusion in Hodgson's squad for the forthcoming games against Moldova and Ukraine, hours after starting for Manchester United against his suitors Chelsea on Monday night.

After seeing two bids for the striker rebuffed, Blues boss Jose Mourinho gave Rooney an ultimatum over his next move following the goalless draw at Old Trafford.

But Hodgson believes the 27-year-old, who is now not expected to hand in a transfer request, has retained the mental focus to remain key to England's hopes of reaching Brazil next summer.

"He's an important player, he's been a fantastic servant for a good number of years now and he's still got the burning ambition to do well," Hodgson, speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, said.

"A fully fit, match-fit Wayne Rooney is important to the country but he's also important to his club and it's important to Wayne himself because the man loves to play football and he's the first onto the pitch and the last off it.

"I think Wayne Rooney has been under a lot of scrutiny since he was about 17 years of age. If anyone is equipped to deal with scrutiny it is Wayne Rooney.

"I'm sure that (Manchester United manager) David Moyes had no worries or concerns whether he would do anything other than give his best or play to the very best of his ability last night just as I never had any concerns he would do the same for us.

"That is the nature of the man, that is the nature of the player."

Hodgson also gave his backing to goalkeeper Joe Hart, whose position as first choice at Manchester City has been called into question after a number of high-profile recent errors.

"We all know that goalkeepers and strikers are the ones in the firing line," Hodgson added.

"And if anything goes even marginally wrong they're the ones that everyone turns to and looks at to blame so I'm sure Joe is confident enough and big enough to understand these things.

"Goalkeepers like Joe at a top team like Man City don't necessarily get a lot to do. Joe with England, (at) certain times, doesn't get a lot to do so every time you make a mistake it's highlighted. I accept that, I'm sure he has.

"As far as I'm concerned I have every faith in Joe Hart. When I took the job on I thought I had a top-class goalkeeper to work with and 16 months later I still think I've got a top-class goalkeeper to work with.

"I'm pretty sure he'll soon be getting the headlines for all the right reasons again."

TEAMtalk Facebook Fan Page

The TEAMtalk fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

T

he thing is, footballers are role models, and children are influenced by them. I watched the Chelsea game with my 6 year old, and at school the next day she stamped on Emre Can.

megabrow (cufc)
Diego Costa: The Patron Saint Of S**thousery

Y

et again Barcelona try to convince the world that they only play the most virtuous of football. I've never seen a team so willing and able to dish out lumps but feel so self-righteous that no opposition player should ever have the audacity to tackle them.

charsmatcengma
Enrique hauls Neymar to safety

I

d love to see a United v Liverpool FA cup final. It would certainly fit the narrative. Obv I'd want the ending to be one of an O.G. and tears as he collects his runner-up medal.

GVMUFC
Gerrard Constantly Searching For That Final Hurrah

Footer 365

Eden Hazard: 'Chelsea need Diego Costa'

Eden Hazard admits Chelsea 'need' Diego Costa as he faces a three-match ban for a stamp on Emre Can on Tuesday night.

Copa del Rey: Luis Enrique says Neymar had to be substituted against Atletico Madrid to prevent injury

Luis Enrique says he had to substitute Neymar to prevent him from being injured in an ugly cup tie with Atletico.

Capital One Cup: Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino pleased to overcome challenging tie with Sheffield United

Mauricio Pochettino dedicated Tottenham's Capital One Cup semi-final triumph over Sheffield United to the fans.

Mail Box

But Biting Doesn't Hurt Like Stamping...

There are Liverpool fans arguing that Luis Suarez is nowhere near Diego Costa's sh*t-house league but we have plenty of love for the agitator too. Oh and Spurs...

Erm... Balotelli To QPR..?

It's an afternoon Mailbox that offers the reaction to the reaction, with a defence for Diego Costa offered, and Balotelli mooted to move to QPR. Plus a silly idea about the Mails...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company