Terry welcomes Rooney fire

27 March 2009 01:10
John Terry believes trying to alter Wayne Rooney's personality would make him a lesser player.

The England skipper was speaking ahead of a busy week for the Three Lions as they prepare for a friendly date against Slovakia and a 2010 World Cup qualifying clash with Ukraine.

Having lost to Spain last time out, the upcoming fixtures provide Fabio Capello's men with an ideal opportunity to get back to winning ways.

Manchester United striker Rooney will be key to England's hopes of securing back-to-back successes, with the 23-year-old renowned for his all-encompassing desire to win every game he plays.

That passion can sometimes boil over, as it did in a recent Premier League clash against Fulham, but Terry insists that desire to be the best should be controlled not eradicated.

"I think some players are born with that passion and fire inside their belly and Wayne's certainly got that," said the Chelsea defender.

"I think if we try and take that away he won't be the player he is. He's a world class player, so let him get on with his football. He's got some great people around him, the experienced lads at Man United and Sir Alex Ferguson, and I'm sure if he steps out of line one of them will talk to him.

"Wayne knows his limit and we have seen him calm down over the years as he has matured and grown up. He is playing well for Man Utd and playing well for England.

Playmaker"I think the key is to keep him well, keep him fit and keep him on the ball. If you get Wayne Rooney on the ball he can do all sorts. He can score goals, he can bring people into play. You keep him fit and well, England have a great chance.

"He's been winning a lot at such a young age and he has a desire to win everything. I hope he never loses that."

Terry is set to win his 50th cap on Saturday, but that achievement could be overshadowed by David Beckham's record-breaking endeavours.

The AC Milan ace is looking to make his 109th appearance for his country, and become England's most-capped outfield player in the process, and Terry admits he would be tempted to hand Beckham the armband should he take to the field.

"We've spoke about this. I'm very proud to be England captain, I've worked very hard to get where I am, it's a bridge we will cross when we come to it," he said.

"It's a fantastic occasion for him, possible his 100th start and his 109th cap - what an achievement that is."

Terry's preparations for the Slovakia showdown have been hampered by reports that his family are at the centre of a shoplifting allegation, but the Chelsea man insists he remains fully focused on the task in hand.

"I've got experience of seeing many headlines and as a player you get on with it and fully concentrate on football, like I did in training this morning - it doesn't affect myself or the players," he said.

Source: SKY_Sports