Belfast Telegraph

Rooney happy to play on as father faces day in court

By Simon Stone

Wayne Rooney has told Fabio Capello he has no concerns about leading England's attack in Montenegro tonight.

The 25-year-old touched down in Podgorica yesterday afternoon to be informed his father, Wayne snr, and uncle, Richie, had been arrested in connection with an alleged betting scam in Scotland last year. They were later released on bail, and Rooney's father last night protested his innocence through his solicitor.

Manchester United forward Rooney has vowed not to let any off-field issues affect his performance on the pitch.

“I spoke with Wayne five minutes ago,” said Capello at his afternoon press conference.

“I found him relaxed and calm. There is no problem for the game against Montenegro.

“He is sure a solution will be found to this personal problem in a very short space of time.”

Rooney is bound to receive a positive response from inside the England dressing room.

Captain John Terry, like Capello, has no doubts Rooney will remain focused on tonight's game.

“It is important for him to go out there and play his football, which he loves doing,” said Terry.

“He will always be fully focused on the pitch. That is all that matters to us.

“When you are on the pitch or training pitch, you can switch off from anything in life. Tomorrow's game is the most important thing. We all realise that.”

Having established Rooney is in a fit state to play, Capello's major concern surrounds who will partner his first-choice striker.

Rooney's United team-mate Danny Welbeck has been mentioned as a contender, as have Darren Bent and Bobby Zamora, while Liverpool's Andy Carroll is not entirely without a hope.

Typically, Capello was giving little away.

“I will decide in the morning, not just about who will play with Rooney, but also for right-back.”

Uncapped duo Kyle Walker and Phil Jones, the latter who has also been mentioned as a potential central defensive partner for John Terry, are in contention along with Everton's Phil Jagielka.

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