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Gerrard defends fiery Rooney

11 Jun 2010 - 07:50:34

Midfielder Steven Gerrard is confident that England team-mate Wayne Rooney will keep his cool at the World Cup finals in South Africa.

Rooney was cautioned during his side's final warm-up game against the Platinum Stars and warned about his swearing towards match officials, but Gerrard is confident that there will be no problems when the tournament itself gets underway.

He told reporters: "People talk about the yellow card he got the other day, but that is Wayne Rooney. He is always on the edge. He has got that fire in his belly.

"I know Wayne. I know about his upbringing and his background. We have a good understanding on the pitch because we are quite close off it.

"If Wayne channels his frustrations in the right way he can be one of the players of this tournament."

Meanwhile, USA head coach Bob Bradley has dismissed suggestions that his team could try and provoke Rooney in Saturday's clash in Rustenburg.

He added: "I'm asked this a lot and no we won't try and wind him up. We don't get into that sort of thing.

"I have tremendous respect for Rooney and what he brings to England in so many ways. His effort, his competitiveness, his movement, his influence on that team is great.

"But we won't try and wind him up."


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