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Germany v England

Capello has faith in shot-shy Rooney

June 26, 2010
By Soccernet staff

England manager Fabio Capello has no concerns over Wayne Rooney's form and has praised the shot-shy striker's contribution ahead of Sunday's last-16 World Cup clash with Germany in Bloemfontein.

Fabio Capello standing by Wayne Rooney
GettyImagesFabio Capello is standing by Wayne Rooney

Rooney has not scored for England since September, his last goal for Manchester United was back in March and the striker has never scored in the World Cup finals.

However, Capello remains unconcerned, and said: "Always Rooney is a really good player and is important. The last game he didn't score but he is always important for us, his movement."

England captain Steven Gerrard also expressed his confidence in Rooney. He said: "The pressure is not just on Wayne but on the whole team. Top players put pressure on themselves and I'm sure Wayne is doing this in his spare time.

"I have every confidence in him that he will play well tomorrow. He played well in the last game and is looking really good in training."

Gerrard insists England will be ready for all eventualities on Sunday - including the last 16 meeting going to penalties. England suffered the heartbreak of losing the 1990 World Cup and Euro 96 semi-finals to Germany on spot-kicks.

He said: "It is going to be a very difficult game. Ideally we want to win the game in 90 minutes but if we have to go to extra-time and penalties, we will be ready."

Gerrard is aware of the expectations back home and the pressure on the players to perform in this game but he is relishing the challenge ahead rather than being fazed by the encounter.

He said: "The experience helps in being ready for this game. I have been involved in massive games throughout my career and that will hold me in good stead.

"There is a lot of pressure because there is so much at stake but it is more excitement and I am looking forward to it. I can't wait to get out there for the game."