Rooney asked to train with substitutes - FA

AFP| Updated: Jun 17, 2014, 12:52 PM IST

Rio De Janeiro: The Football Association has reacted to speculation about striker Wayne Rooney`s place in the England team by explaining that he trained with back-up players at his own request.

Playing in an unfavoured left-sided role, Rooney produced a subdued display as England lost 2-1 to Italy in their opening World Cup game in Manaus on Saturday.

He trained alongside the substitutes from that match at England`s Rio de Janeiro training base yesterday, prompting reports in the British media that he may be dropped for his side`s second Group D game against Uruguay on Thursday.

But in a statement on Twitter, the FA said that the Manchester United striker was merely eager to maintain peak fitness between matches.

"Contrary to reports, @WayneRooney requested additional training and worked with a wider group of players on Monday," it said.

"Following a recovery session on Sunday a number of players continued two-day post-match recovery on Monday. Rooney was not in that group."

England coach Gary Neville has praised Rooney`s willingness to play on the left and declared that manager Roy Hodgson`s back-room staff were more than happy with his performance against Italy.

"Can Wayne play on the left? I`ve seen him play in England games past on the left, I`ve seen him play for Manchester United on the left," Neville told ITV.

"He`s played there I don`t know how many times in the last six or seven years, because you need to accommodate different players and different systems.

"He`s a team player. He will sacrifice himself for the team. In terms of performance, not one of the coaching staff came off thinking that Rooney had played badly at all.