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Hodgson casts doubt on Rooney's role

By Football News



England manager Roy Hodgson says Wayne Rooney's future with the national team will be in doubt if he struggles to play for his club.

Rooney slipped behind Robin Van Persie as Manchester United's preferred striker during the past season and retiring United boss Alex Ferguson revealed Rooney submitted a transfer request toward the end of the campaign.

It remains to be seen if new manager David Moyes, who coached Rooney at Everton, will retain the forward's services.

Although Rooney played 37 matches across all competitions for United in 2012/13, scoring 16 goals, Hodgson said the 27-year-old could drop out of England's starting XI if he struggles for game-time.

"No one is guaranteed a place in the future but everyone knows his ability," Hodgson said.

Since he took over the national team, Hodgson has often complained about the lack of game-time England's best players receive at the bigger clubs of the Premier League.

Because of that, the 65-year-old manager has made it clear he cannot restrict himself to only selecting players who are playing regularly.

"The fact is there are a lot of clubs in the country that don't use many English players," Hodgson said.

"The English players we've got do not always play.

"We'd be limiting our options enormously if I could only pick English players who play regularly for their club.

"I have to recognise a player's ability and believe they'll show that ability when I give them a chance to play.

"I find Wayne's desire as strong, if not stronger than when we first met.

"I have nothing but the greatest faith in him."

England are set to play the Republic of Ireland in a friendly on Wednesday and while Hodgson confirmed Rooney would start up front, the manager remains unsure who will play alongside the Manchester United attacker.

One player that has impressed Hodgson is Daniel Sturridge, with the 23-year-old forward having scored 11 goals in all competitions since joining Liverpool in January.

"Daniel Sturridge has, for many years, been an enormous talent," Hodgson said.

"He's been more of a regular at Liverpool and he's grown in confidence.

"We're hoping he comes in, in the same way as Danny Welbeck, and brings us something with his incredible pace, footwork and technical ability to help us win matches."