Roy Hodgson has been quick to dispel any rumors that he is worried about Wayne Rooney’s fitness or attitude.
Questions were raised in relation to Rooney’s fitness after he had a poor Euro 2012 in which he missed the first two games due to a suspension following a red card in the final qualifying game.
When asked whether fitness was an issue at the Euros, Hodgson replied, “I’d dispute the fact that he wasn’t fit in the Euros. He might not have played to his best level and might not have had a lot of match fitness because he’d not had a chance to play matches before, but it wasn’t a fitness issue.”
Rooney admits in his new autobiography that he returned to pre-season at Manchester United seven pounds over weight in 2009. Allied with his trip to Las Vegas sandwiched between the end of the last Premier League season and the start of Euro 2012, Rooney’s attitude and commitment could be seen as wavering.
Hodgson replied, “What he does in pre-season and with Manchester United is a matter for Sir Alex Ferguson. I don’t comment on what players do in the time they are given off after a season. It’s a long season. They’re under pressure. They’re free to decide how to spend their free time.”
Rooney sustained a deep gash to his knee which looks set to keep him out of action for around four weeks although Hodgson is not concerned.
He explained, “Wayne’s current injury is a major setback, but he’s come back from them before. I have no reason to believe that he won’t come back fit and be anxious to prove his critics wrong.”