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Fergie gives Rooney backing

20 Oct 2012 09:44:00

Fergie gives Rooney backing

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has no issues with Wayne Rooney being selected for England's friendly in Sweden next month. Rooney has expressed a desire to be selected for the Stockholm encounter on November 14, even though England manager Roy Hodgson intends to use the game to have a look at some of the younger members of his squad. With the game falling in a midweek between two Champions League fixtures, and other big Premier League games to come as well, Ferguson could be forgiven for hoping Rooney is excused international duty. However, the Scot feels Rooney could actually benefit from the experience. "That is not a problem for him," Ferguson said. "Wayne needs to play all the time. Sometimes we might put him on the bench but in the main he likes to play. If he has shown that keenness I don't see why he shouldn't." Rooney was replaced during the second half of England's 1-1 draw in Poland, having previously been moved into a wide position as Hodgson sought greater drive from Tom Cleverley in central midfield. The move did not have any effect on the scoreline, which led to criticism Ferguson feels was unjustified given the difficult surface England's players had to operate on. "The criticism was a bit unfair," Ferguson said. "I knew immediately they were not going to be able to pass the ball quickly on that pitch. It was really heavy. "All these players play in the Premier League at a far greater speed than they were playing on Wednesday. They couldn't get real quickness into their game at all." And when Ferguson then heard Cleverley being lambasted the following day, he concluded nothing much changes with England. "I always say this about England, when they get criticised it is usually unfair," he said. "I listened to the radio yesterday morning and they were slaughtering Cleverley. I couldn't have been watching the (same) game because he was the one player who kept the ball moving. "He showed a real degree of experience for a young lad."


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