Dropped Rooney in a 'difficult period'

Dropped Rooney in a 'difficult period'

Southgate added he is expecting a tough game from Slovenia, but is targeting an away victory that would keep England at the top of Group F and extend their 100 per cent record.

"I don't see him playing in a specific position, he's got the talent to play so many positions, and the experience".

The England #10 is nonetheless fearless enough to make lemonade from the lemons he's been handed, and says he "understands" the decision to deny him a starting berth for Tuesday's qualifier. There's lots of examples out there you can use - players re-evaluate and work out the best way to move forwards.

"I had a long chat with him earlier in the week just to talk about what does he look like at his best", the interim boss said of Hart.

It has been confirmed that Wayne Rooney will be starting on the bench for this one, which should give one or two of the other strikers in the squad to impress Southgate.

He will also have to wrestle with the inevitable Rooney debate and solve England's failure to score goals or even create chances. It hasn't been made any easier by the unsettling managerial churn at both United and England.

"I think Jordan is a fantastic leader", Rooney said. But that's the managers' decision where they want me to play.

"I've played 13 years non-stop for England, given everything, and a time comes when you're not the first name on the team-sheet, like I have been in the past", he said.

The 29-year-old had to be quick off his line in each half to first deny Roman Bezjak and then Josip Ilicic.

"We still sit top of the group and I know people will be disappointed we haven't won but in the long term we are ahead in the group and we've got two hard away games out of the way so everything is in our hands".

"I wouldn't say brutal", he said.

They took the lead and it took us a while to get back into it.

"I warned the guys against too much euphoria are the Slovakia result".

"And, you know, two or three of his saves were absolutely outstanding, so I think he showed the level that he's capable of". The chances that they had were set-plays or mistakes, so that's something that needs to be better.

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