RIO DE JANEIRO —
The 28-year-old Rooney might have scored 39 goals in 93 international appearances, but his ruthlessness in front of goal has been on the wane when representing the Three Lions. Rooney has netted just once in the last seven games, but bridled at suggestions he has a divine right to start.
“I’ve never felt that, I don’t know why you said that,” he told reporters. “Why would I feel my place in the team is guaranteed? I work hard to try and get in that team. I have never said my place is guaranteed. I don’t expect to play, I work hard. I want to play.”
England resumes full training on Monday before facing Uruguay, which had an unexpectedly poor start to the World Cup by losing 3-1 to Costa Rica. Although the defense might struggle to contain an attacking unit potentially featuring Edinson Cavani, Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez, England is looking to its own electrifying players going forward to revive its campaign.
“If we take away the (Italy) result and look at some of the performances, the exciting players we had out on the pitch, the future is looking good but we have still got to do well in the present,” England defender Phil Jagielka said. “If we had lost and not gone for it and scored goals or created chances, these next two games would have looked bleak.
“Once we recover and look forward there will be a lot of positive things, and hopefully the camp will be confident to put in some good performances.”
Rob Harris can be followed at www.twitter.com/RobHarris
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