Rooney re­turns to cap­tain Eng­land in Scot­land clash

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports -

Eng­land’s Wayne Rooney and Jamie Vardy dur­ing Eng­land Train­ing at St. Ge­orge’s Park, Bur­ton upon Trent.

Striker Wayne Rooney will re­turn to Eng­land’s start­ing line-up as cap­tain for Fri­day’s World Cup qual­i­fier against Scot­land as his ex­pe­ri­ence in the tense en­counter will be vi­tal for the young squad, in­terim man­ager Gareth South­gate said.

Rooney was dropped from the start­ing team for Eng­land’s lack­lus­tre Group F qual­i­fier draw with Slove­nia last month and has been largely used as a sub­sti­tute by Manch­ester United man­ager Jose Mour­inho.

“Yes, he is,” South­gate told re­porters on Thurs­day when asked if Rooney will cap­tain the side against Scot­land.

The 31-year-old Rooney re­cently broke his 11-game lean spell for United when he scored in the 2-1 Europa League de­feat by Turk­ish side Fener­bahce last week. He sub­se­quently re­turned to the club’s Premier League start­ing line-up in Sun­day’s win over Swansea City.

“(Rooney) is in a bet­ter place than he was (be­fore) ... in terms of his sharp­ness. There was no hes­i­ta­tion from me in se­lect­ing him,” South­gate added.

“He’s play­ing well for Manch­ester United, I think he’s a player who (needs to) get into a rhythm.

“Wayne uses his ex­pe­ri­ence very well, es­pe­cially for the younger lads. He’s a big part in try­ing to get the vic­tory.”

Fol­low­ing Eng­land’s goal­less draw in Slove­nia and an un­der­whelm­ing home win over Malta in World Cup qual­i­fiers last month, South­gate has two more games to con­vince the Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (FA) that he is the right man for the job. South­gate, how­ever, said he has given lit­tle thought over the pos­si­bil­ity of tak­ing up the Eng­land job on a per­ma­nent ba­sis.

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