Saturday 25 November 2017

Roy Hodgson backs returning Wayne Rooney will keep his cool against Ukraine

ROY Hodgson is confident the returning Wayne Rooney will keep his cool in England's make-or-break Euro 2012 Group D match with Ukraine in Donetsk tomorrow evening.

Hodgson confirmed today that Rooney will start against the co-hosts after being unavailable for the opening two matches against France and Sweden through suspension.

But boss Hodgson has no fears about Rooney's self-control in what will be his first start since playing for Manchester United five weeks ago.

Hodgson said: "I am not concerned about Wayne going over the top. It is a good point to make but I am sure other people apart from myself will be keen to remind him what we want is a good team performance.

"We want him to help us win a game of football. I have been very impressed with his attitude in training and I have no fears about him.

"People say he may be ring rusty but from what I have seen he is every bit as sharp as when he played his last game for Manchester United."

England need only a point to reach the last eight but Hodgson is refusing to look further than tomorrow's testing encounter.

He said: "We have already seen some good teams go out of this tournament. We have given ourselves a chance of going through but guarantees do not exist.

"The team believe in themselves and if the performances have increased expectations then that's good.

"But we are not getting carried away and know we've got a difficult test tomorrow evening."

Hodgson knows England will have to overcome a passionate atmosphere in the Donbass Stadium but believes his players have the experience to cope with such a challenge.

"The players in this squad all play for top clubs, play in the Champions League, play in these sort of matches all the time," he added.

"We know the fans will be right behind the Ukraine but our players are capable of dealing with such challenges."

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