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Rooney discipline in the spotlight
Published : 10 Jun 2010 11:36:34
England captain Steven Gerrard has warned Manchester United firebrand Wayne Rooney to watch his language ahead of the World Cup opener against the USA on Saturday. Player discipline has been a hot topic since Rooney was booked for swearing at a referee during a pre-tournament friendly, with the referees for England's opener against the United States saying they have been learning English profanities in order to know what to listen for. Gerrard is warning his team-mates not to get caught in the trap. "You don't swear at them, do you?" he said. "That's the answer to that. In this day and age I think it's important to show the referees some respect. You don't use any language because then you'll be booked and the whole team suffers. "You don't want to fall into that trap." Rooney's temper has been widely discussed, but Gerrard expects the Manchester United forward to be able to handle any goading he may face. "I'm not sure whether he'll be targeted, we'll wait and see," he said. "Wayne's experienced enough now to deal with it if he is. "Wayne understands we need him on the pitch, he's a very important player, and every player has been warned by the manager and coaching staff to channel their frustration in the right way and not get involved with the referees or with any silly challenges. "We've had experience of losing big players at important times and we need to keep everyone on the pitch." On Rooney, Gerrard added: "I think Wayne understands. He is a fantastic player and we don't want to take any fire away from him. "He always plays on the edge but Wayne has to control his emotions and take it out on opposition teams rather than referees. "The manager stresses the importance of always having 11 men on the pitch and this tournament is going to be difficult enough so if we lose someone it will only complicate things further." Can Rooney control his temper? Have your say.