England coach Fabio Capello has confirmed Wayne Rooney will play in Tuesday’s Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland despite recent allegations about the striker’s private life.
Rooney’s place in the team in Basel had come under question after claims in two Sunday newspapers at the weekend.
However, Capello backed the player and said Rooney was happy to play.
“Yes he will play,” Capello said. “During training he was really good and I spoke with him and he’s happy to play. I know the players when they want to play – that is really important. Against Bulgaria he was really, really good on the pitch.
“He will also be in a good situation tomorrow. I hope the performance of Rooney tomorrow will be the same as at Wembley. We are focused on the game, not about the private life of the players. We are here to play this game and train very well.”
Skipper Steven Gerrard said he expected Rooney to put matter out of his mind for Tuesday’s game.
“Yeah he’s got an issue off the pitch put I don’t think that will stop him from playing well,” Gerrard said. “I spoke with him today at lunchtime and in training and Wayne’s been fine. He’s looking forward to the game and playing well.
“I think football can do that sometimes (help you focus) if you’ve got an issue of the field. Once the game starts Wayne will be focused on the field and getting the three points.
“Wayne’s a big character. You expect big performances from Wayne every time he steps on the pitch. You saw that against Bulgaria. I expect another big performance from Wayne.”