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Rueda not looking at individuals

03 Jun 2014 21:01:57

Rueda not looking at individuals

Wayne Rooney may be England's "goalscorer" and "leader" but Ecuador head coach Reinaldo Rueda is more concerned about the collective ahead of Wednesday's friendly.

Last week's 3-0 defeat of Peru at Wembley was the 28-year-old Rooney's first match since Manchester United's victory against Norwich on April 26.

However, Rooney struggled and was little more than a peripheral figure for the Three Lions, who he will represent again on Wednesday as he looks to sharpen his fitness ahead of the World Cup.

England manager Roy Hodgson confirmed the forward will start at the Sun Life Stadium in Miami, with opponents Ecuador ready to deal with threat he and his team-mates pose.

"Their team is at a tremendous level throughout, so it's not just about one player," manager Rueda said.

"Rooney is a goalscorer and a leader, we know that, but England have Gerrard, they have Lampard, they have Welbeck, they have Smalling.

"Rooney is Rooney, but we focus on the collective and they are a strong side."

Ecuador finished above England's Group D opponents Uruguay in World Cup qualifying, yet do not possess the same star names.

It meant Hodgson and Frank Lampard squirmed somewhat when asked in-depth questions about Ecuadorian football, such as the evolution of football in the country.

Hodgson said in response it was "a bit like me asking you what are the chances of Crewe Alexandra getting out of the second division" but Rueda did not seem too bothered by that lack of knowledge.

"I didn't hear him," he said. "In this century, you have all these available options to see teams and players, so I don't know but it may be something he's just saying."


PA

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