London: England coach Roy Hodgson has insisted that Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney is still his main man.
Rooney, who is recovering from a gashed leg, would be missing from the World Cup qualifier in Moldova.
Hodgson is standing firmly by Roo, after questions about his general fitness arose along with his admission to returning to pre-season training in the past out of condition.
“I don’t have any concerns. He’s a top striker and someone I want in the squad. We’re talking about a star. And when a star maybe does not reach the level expected of him, criticism follows,” The Sun quoted Hodgson, as saying.
“But I have no criticism of him or his fitness. I’d dispute the fact he wasn’t fit at the Euros,” he added.
Rooney looked far from being in prime shape at Euro 2012, having gone to Las Vegas for a break beforehand knowing he would miss the first two matches through a ban.
“What he does in pre-season is a matter for Sir Alex Ferguson and his club. I can’t make Wayne Rooney fit. I hope to see him in the United team fit and playing well, so I can welcome him back into the England squad,” Hodgson said.