Rooney's problem 'in his head'

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Football News

Fabio Capello has admitted Wayne Rooney must overcome some mind games if he is to make any impact on the World Cup.

Inevitably questions have been raised about Rooney's fitness given the amount of time he spent on the sidelines after suffering an ankle injury in the Champions League quarter-final first-leg defeat to Bayern Munich in March.

But Capello said: "He is completely fit. He has trained and he has been on the pitch for as long as any other player. He is perfect. The problem is in the mind. I know this."

The Italian boss added: "I was a player. I remember these moments. In the mind you are okay. Then you get to the pitch."

In a dreadful performance for England in Friday night's goalless draw with Algeria in Cape Town, Rooney's contribution was one of the most disappointing aspects.

Not only was the 24-year-old unable to break a scoring drought in tournament football that stretches back six games to a group encounter with Croatia at Euro 2004, he made a succession of unforced errors and after the final whistle complained about the behaviour of England supporters - many of whom booed their team at the final whistle.

But Capello defended his star man, adding: "Wayne is a good player.

"He is always dangerous for the opposition because of his movement and general play.

"I know he gave the ball away a lot and some of his passes were not good but he is still an important player."

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European News
UEFA Champions League
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