Belfast Telegraph

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Rose happy his pre-Russia fears haven't come to pass

By Simon Peach

Danny Rose has been so pleasantly surprised by his time in Russia that the England left-back is open to his family joining him at the World Cup.

Nobody epitomises the Three Lions' new honest and open approach quite like the 27-year-old, who spoke about his battle with mental health issues in the build-up to the finals.

Rose also spoke about his fears of racism at the World Cup, explaining how he had no faith in the justice system and did not want to be worried about loved ones regarding "racism and anything else that may happen".

But the Tottenham left-back's first trip to Russia is panning out better than he expected it to.

"I'd have to check hotel prices first," Rose said when asked about whether his family would now come to Russia. "I just want to get in the team and then after that I'd be open.

"I'd be open now to having my family out here, so let's just hope we win on Thursday and then we beat whoever we play in the next round and we'll see."

Rose has been blown away by the quietness of England's Repino base and the "amazing weather" in Russia, with plans afoot to visit St Petersburg.

A number of players recently spent their recovery day in the city with family members - a time when the left-back enjoyed a different type of downtime.

"We've had family days where we've had a day off and the gaffer has allowed families to come to the hotel," Rose said.

"When people have had their families around, it has been difficult. There's a few of us without families here so we've not had much to do and it's been difficult, but I've got three weeks to dedicate my life to England and what we're trying to do."

Rose has begun to understand how football can swallow people up after experiences in the club game that he "wouldn't wish on anybody".

Rose received an outpouring of goodwill from the public and fellow players after opening up about his struggles. He explained how a lengthy injury lay-off and the suicide of an uncle led him to visit a psychologist and spend a number of months on medication.

He has vowed to help fellow sufferers after the World Cup, where his revelations are shining a light on the side of professional football rarely seen.

Asked why he is so honest, Rose said: "I don't know really. It is the best job in the world, but I think people seem to think there's no other issues within football. You just get your money and you play every week.

"There's so much more to football than what people may see on a Saturday. I don't believe in hiding that from people.

"Even though I feel very privileged to play football, it's not something I would be shouting from the rooftops to recommend to people's children. There are a lot of things that happen on a day-to-day basis at club football I wouldn't wish on anybody."

Rose would not go into specifics but added: "There's pressure, politics - there's loads of things.

"There's not just playing on a Saturday and you receiving your money. There's so, so much more to football than what people see.

"My agent told me when I was 15, 16, 'You can have all the ability in the world, but if you're not mentally strong enough, football will swallow you up'.

"For 10, 11 years, I didn't have a clue about what he was talking about. It wasn't until this year that I've realised exactly what he meant. He's right with what he told me all those years ago."

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