Rooney still undaunted
Wayne insists he is committed to Three-Lions
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.”