Sven stands by Rooney

15 October 2011 10:35

Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has repeated his plea to the country's media and supporters to not "kill" Wayne Rooney.

The striker received a three-game ban - a suspension that rules him out of the Euro 2012 group stage - for his kick at Montenegro's Miodrag Dzudovic last Friday. The incident had shades of the Manchester United forward's dismissal in Eriksson's final game - a stamp on Portugal's Ricardo Carvalho as England exited the 2006 World Cup.

"Do the same now. Don't kill him," he said in the Daily Telegraph, recalling comment from his famous press conference after the ill-fated clash in Gelsenkirchen. "You need Rooney in the Euros. Capello will sooner or later say what he wants to do with Rooney but I guess he'll take Rooney to the Euros."

Eriksson added: "I would take him. Rooney can score the goal in the final and then no one will think about the games he was banned for.

"Even if he doesn't play for England until the quarter-finals, he will play all the time for United, so you will have a very fresh Rooney in the quarter-finals. The manager can give Rooney 15 minutes now and then in friendlies. He will be very good to have in the group."

Eriksson, now in charge of Championship side Leicester, gave Rooney the first of his 73 caps against Australia in 2003.

And, although he concedes Rooney was in the wrong in Montenegro, he believes leniency has to be shown.

"There are many, many, many more positives things to Rooney than negatives," he said

"You can't defend a straight red card but you have to take it.

"His temperament is very competitive. That is why he is Wayne Rooney. He won't be second best to anyone. Criticise him for one or two days, then forget it."

Source: PA

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
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