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    Feb 2011


    Thumbs up Papers: Roy backs Rooney

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    Rooney still fits in with Roy

    Roy Hodgson insists Wayne Rooney is still his main man. The Manchester United striker is missing from tonight’s World Cup qualifier in Moldova because of a gashed leg. But there have been questions about his general fitness and he has admitted to returning to pre-season training in the past out of condition. Hodgson, though, is standing firmly by Rooney and feels he is integral to his World Cup plans. He declared: “I don’t have any concerns. He’s a top striker and someone I want in the squad. We’re talking about a star. And when a star maybe does not reach the level expected of him, criticism follows. But I have no criticism of him or his fitness. I’d dispute the fact he wasn’t fit at the Euros. What he does in pre-season is a matter for Sir Alex Ferguson and his club. I can’t make Wayne Rooney fit. I hope to see him in the United team fit and playing well, so I can welcome him back into the England squad.”

    In The Express, Michael Carrick discusses his personal international renaissance with the national team, after Three Lions boss Hodgson recalled the midfielder for last month’s friendly win over Italy, following two years of exile. “My ego is not that big that I think I should be playing every game for England,” the Reds star says. “I don’t need assurances or guarantees of any kind, just a fair chance.”

    Elsewhere, The Guardian reportsthe Premier League is considering the introduction of rules to control escalating player wages before the huge influx of cash from the next television deals in 2013-16. United and Arsenal, both of whom made profits in 2010-11, are understood to favour rules similar to UEFA's, which require clubs to move towards breaking even financially, not making losses.



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