Rooney all but guaranteed to play for England at Euro 2016
ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 04, 2016 10:32 AM
AP Sports Writer
PARIS (AP) — According to England coach Roy Hodgson, Wayne Rooney is guaranteed to make the England squad for the European Championship if he recovers in time from his right knee injury.
Speaking at a UEFA coaches' workshop in Paris, Hodgson said he won't judge his captain on his form when picking his 23-man list.
"He's got to come back before the end of the season, there is no doubt about that," Hodgson said. "Form is transient. His quality, and his leadership quality are in the fact that he is captain of England, and that is not transient, that's a given. There is no way I should be looking to dismiss a Wayne Rooney who is fit and playing football on the basis that he is out of form, because he is our captain. And the captain is important."
Rooney injured the ligaments in his knee last month. His injury did not require surgery and the Manchester United striker could return to action by the end of March.
But even a lengthier absence in unlikely to cost him his place at Euro 2016 in France from June 10-July 10.
To prepare for the European Championship, England has a doubleheader of friendlies against Germany and the Netherlands this month. Rooney, who has scored three times in four appearances for England this season, is unlikely to be fit for those games.
Despite his injury, Rooney remains very well placed in Hodgson's pecking order.
"Wayne's main focus is to do well with England and for England," the England coach said. "I don't have any fears or concerns about him in that respect. He knows that if he wants to be in the first XI he's got to be playing well enough to displace some of the other players we have.
"But one thing he does not have to worry about is his place in the squad of players, that's a certain thing."