News ID: 138027
Published: 0638 GMT March 09, 2016

Hodgson: Rooney ‘not guaranteed to start’

Hodgson: Rooney ‘not guaranteed to start’

England manager Roy Hodgson guaranteed captain Wayne Rooney a place in his Euro 2016 squad, but admits his spot in the starting XI is up for grabs.

Manchester United striker Rooney is currently sidelined with a knee problem and there had been concerns that he could struggle to regain full form and fitness in time for the finals in France, Omnisport reported.

Hodgson says the 30-year-old will definitely travel to the tournament, provided there are no major injury setbacks, but would not assure him of a place in the team that will line up against Russia on June 11.

When asked if his squad place was guaranteed, Hodgson told talkSPORT, “Yes, because he’s our captain, our most experienced player. He’s not missed one of the last eight squads, he’s never let us down.

“And form is something you have to be careful of. Players have to have the right attitude, desire, and loyalty to what we’re trying to do.

“He wouldn’t want me to say that [he’s a certain to start]. He’ll want to play but if I make a decision, he’ll be the first to accept that and be one of the most helpful to the guy who takes his place.

“But I certainly will dismiss any discussions about whether Wayne Rooney will be there. My only fear is whether he will be fit in time, but it’s a minor fear.

“He has more than one string to his bow, he can play behind or as an out-and-out striker. But if that group of players is available it gives us a great choice in terms of system.”

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