Wayne Rooney certain to be part of England’s Euro 2016 squad – Roy Hodgson

Published: Tuesday 8th March 2016 by The News Editor

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England manager Roy Hodgson says captain Wayne Rooney is certain to be part of the Euro 2016 squad, provided he has recovered from a knee ligament injury.

The 30-year-old has not played for Manchester United since February 13 and is expected to miss the forthcoming international friendlies with Germany and Holland later this month.

Rooney has produced some indifferent displays for the Red Devils this season, scoring only seven Barclays Premier League goals.

Hodgson, however, will have no hesitation in making the forward once again integral to his plans in France this summer, with Rooney having become England’s record goalscorer during what was a flawless qualification campaign.

Speaking to talkSPORT, the England manager said: “Yes I can (say he is a certainty) because he is our captain, he is our most experienced player.

“He has not missed one game in the last 10 qualifiers, in fact he has not missed one squad of the last eight squads, that takes in 16 games. He has never let us down.

“What’s more is that form is something you have to be very careful of, because if I am going to dismiss people every time they go through a two or three-week period and are accused of being out of form, and then pick other people through a two or three-week period because they are in form, I think that would be a major mistake.

“I’ve got to pick the right players, they have to have the right quality, the right attitude, the right desire to play for the coach and perhaps as well have to have shown some degree of loyalty and commitment to what we are trying to do…s o there is a lot of things you have to take into account when putting a squad of players together.

“If it was just going to be simply that, to wait until the middle of April to May 12 when I have to select my squad, and then just (pick) the 23 players who are on form in those weeks, I feel I would be taking a lot of players to the Euros who probably aren’t as good as the ones I would be leaving behind.”

Hodgson added: ” I am not prepared to say categorically for many players at this early stage that this player will go, but I certainly will dismiss any discussions about Wayne Rooney and whether he should or shouldn’t go, because he deserves to be there.

“My only fear is that he won’t recover in time from his injury. I think it is a minor fear, because everyone tells me he should be fine, but that for me would be the only doubt.”

Hodgson remains hopeful he will also be able to bring Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere to France.

The 24-year-old is closing in on a return to action with the Gunners, having not featured at all this season after fracturing his fibula in August.

“Our information from Arsenal through the doctors is he will be back in good time… but of course I cannot guarantee a place in the squad,” the England boss said.

“I think his past performances merit a place in the squad because every game he played…. he was a very decisive player for us and to some extent even changed our style of play.

“I certainly wouldn’t want to dismiss his chances, but I do except he has to be fit. I can’t say about Jack what I said about Wayne Rooney.

“I can’t say at this moment of time whether he will be back in time and fit – and Jack wouldn’t be expecting me to select him if he wasn’t 100 per cent fit and ready to go.”

Hodgson ended a wide-ranging interview with some reflections on his future after Euro 2016, when the 68-year-old’s current contract ends.

“That will be up to the FA,” he asked if he was set to continue in the role.

“When you take on the job as the manager you are a custodian for a group.

“Whatever happens after the Euros I will be quite satisfied that I am leaving the foundation, leaving behind incredible players and a body of work that somebody could carry on.

“If the FA and the country would like me to do it, of course I am more than happy to do that because I enjoy the job and working with the players.

“I am also equally accepting to the fact that if it is (time) for me to walk away and to leave this to somebody else, then so be it. But it won’t be my decision.

“I certainly won’t be looking to walk away from it, but on the other hand I hope I am not going to be looking to sort of cling on with everything I have when really most people are wishing that I was not there any more, I think that is quite important too.”

Published: Tuesday 8th March 2016 by The News Editor

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