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World Cup Group D

Lescott has faith in Rooney

England's Joleon Lescott insists he has no fears over Wayne Rooney's discipline for Tuesday's crucial World Cup qualifier in Montenegro.

Last Updated: 27/03/13 at 09:45 Post Comment

Joleon Lescott: No worries about England team-mate Wayne Rooney

Joleon Lescott: No worries about England team-mate Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Rooney was banned for the first two matches of Euro 2012 after kicking out at Montenegro midfielder Miodrag Dzudovic in their qualifier 17 months ago.

England boss Roy Hodgson has expressed his concern that Rooney might be targeted by the group leaders, but Lescott said: "Wayne is older now. He is more experienced and mature.

"We all are. I don't think there will be a problem. We want to be disciplined and professional. With the calibre of players in this squad, I don't think it will be a problem."

It has been an emotional week for Lescott with the Manchester City centre-half set to start for England despite spending much of the season on the bench for Roberto Mancini's outfit.

Injuries to Michael Dawson, Phil Jagielka, Rio Ferdinand and Gary Cahill mean the 30-year-old will be one of the first names on Hodgson's team sheet come Tuesday night.

Lescott is in upbeat mood having enjoyed an uneventful Friday night shutting out San Marino and is now preparing to contend with Serie A strikeforce Stevan Jovetic and Mirko Vucinic, who have scored 23 goals between them this season.

"I haven't been in the City team as much as I would have liked this season, but I played against Barnsley, so my sharpness wasn't too far away, and San Marino was a massive game for me to be involved in," the former Everton defender said.

"I did my best in training. The manager feels he can trust us all. My experience of dealing with difficult opponents at Euro 2012 can definitely help against Montenegro."

Victory would enable England to leapfrog Montenegro and, regarding their opponents, Lescott added: "They are very organised. They are tough to break down, but we are confident.

"Winning breeds confidence. No disrespect to San Marino but we played well against them and we will hope to do the same on Tuesday. When we came away our aim was six points and that is still our main focus. Ukraine beating Poland on Friday night was a good result for us.

"If we win on Tuesday that would give us a good run into the second half of the qualifying campaign."

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C

lassic management. Build them up and then knock them back. Raise expectations and then dampen them. Create a dynamic where by you demand the most from your team, but where the team are given room to manoeuvre unexpected or unwanted results. Classy work by Van Gaal, he really reminds me a lot of me. A smart cookie, make no doubt.

hump3.
Van Gaal: 'I struggle for first three months'

H

e will be the England left back for ten years or more, and then you will have to thank MUFC for that. *smiles*

london saint
Shaw: Criticism spot on

P

urely because of that little diva moment he had last night, I don't want him coming to my club. DESTROYED ? Grow up and give something back to the club that helped put you up there on the world stage.

bale doubt
Saints' Schneiderlin stalemate

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