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Capello - Rooney will play

Three Lions boss confirms striker to face Switzerland

By James Riach.   Last Updated: 07/09/10 8:02am

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Capello backs Rooney to play

Capello backs Rooney to play

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Fabio Capello has revealed that Wayne Rooney will play against Switzerland on Tuesday despite recent allegations surrounding his private life.

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The 24-year-old striker has been the subject of a whirlwind of media interest after revelations in the press on Sunday, and question marks had been raised regarding his participation against the Swiss.

England kicked off their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign with a 4-0 victory over Bulgaria on Friday night, and Rooney put in a fine performance, assisting all four goals.

This came after the Manchester United man was a shadow of his former self in South Africa this summer, not managing one goal and looking out of sorts during the World Cup.

However, Capello has deemed him in a fit enough state to take part against the Swiss in Basel, saying he wants to play.

When asked if Rooney would feature, the Italian said: "Yes, he will play and I spoke with him and I monitored him during the two days after the game against Hungary and he was really, really good on the pitch.

"He will be in a good situation tomorrow and I hope the performance of Rooney tomorrow will be the same as Wembley."

When asked if he ever had any doubts on his participation, he added: "No. I think absolutely not because during the training he was really good and I spoke with him and he is happy to play.

"When the players want to play it is extremely important for me.

Pitch matters

"The players know what they have to do in their private life, but it is private life. The players know what I ask of them usually but I think also for us, for the team, the performance on the pitch is really important.

"I am a manager, they are players, you have to play to win. You have to separate them.

"We are focused on the game and not on the private lives of the players. We are here to play this game and we train very well.

"I spoke with some players after the (Hungary) game, there are no injuries and we are happy with this."

Switzerland are expected to provide the Three Lions' sternest test in the qualifying group as Ottmar Hitzfeld's side proved their worth after beating Spain during the World Cup this summer.

Capello is torn between Gary Cahill, Matthew Upson and Joleon Lescott on who to start in central defence alongside Phil Jagielka following Michael Dawson's injury, and he underlined the importance of the fixture.

He added: "All these players are ready to play but you can only choose 18 players.

"You have to decide the first 11 and the players for the bench.

"The most important thing is that players understand what we have to do. Switzerland are the strongest team in the group.

"This group is very balanced so we need to win every game."

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