Rooney still un­daunted

Wayne in­sists he is com­mit­ted to Three-Lions

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports - BY SAMI MOK­BEL /

Wayne Rooney vowed to fight for his Eng­land ca­reer after he was sen­sa­tion­ally axed by Gareth South­gate.

In­terim man­ager South­gate has taken the mon­u­men­tal de­ci­sion to drop skip­per Rooney for Tues­day night’s World Cup qual­i­fier here in Slove­nia – with Eric Dier tak­ing his place in cen­tral mid­field.

His shock omis­sion comes after weeks of spec­u­la­tion over his role in the Eng­land team fol­low­ing a be­low­par Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship.

Calls for the Manch­ester United star to be benched grew louder over the week­end after he turned in an un­der­whelm­ing dis­play against Malta at Wem­b­ley.

But Rooney – who passes the cap­tain’s arm­band to Jor­dan Hen­der­son on Tues­day – in­sists this is not the end of his 117-cap in­ter­na­tional ca­reer.

“I believe I can come back from this, of course I do,” in­sisted Rooney.

“I am 30 years of age, I am not 35 or 36 where you are think­ing: “can you get back from it?”.

“I will just keep work­ing. I have said be­fore that I will not stop play­ing for Eng­land and then think of go­ing to Dubai for a few days in the in­ter­na­tional break.

“I will turn up when called upon and be ready. I’ve never thought: “I don’t need this”, as I keep, say­ing after the sum­mer it would have been easy for my to walk away and say “that’s it, I’ve had enough” but that’s not me.

“I feel I have a lot to of­fer and I’ve made that clear, cer­tainly up un­til Rus­sia 2018, if we get there. That’s what I want to ful­fil.

“I’m not sud­denly go­ing to turn round and say ‘I’m not play­ing, I’m not go­ing to turn up’ – I know I can be a big help for the other play­ers, whether I’m play­ing or not, both on and off the pitch.”

Rooney, though, has ac­knowl­edged his non-selection does rep­re­sent a seis­mic shift in the land­scape of his Eng­land fu­ture.

“I know this is a big mo­ment, of course it is,” said Rooney.

“I am not naive in terms of think­ing that I am still a 20-year-old who could do what I could do when I was 20. I un­der­stand that. I feel my game is dif­fer­ent to that of a 20-year-old, but I also think I have qual­i­ties that can help move this team for­ward.”

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