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Rooney: I chose extra training with reserves

The Manchester United forward is exasperated by media suggestions that he was asked to train with the Three Lions' second string.

England forward Wayne Rooney insists that he chose to do extra training with the reserves in preparation for Uruguay rather than being banished there on the coaching staff's orders.

The Manchester United striker came in for criticism for his performance in the Three Lions' 2-1 World Cup defeat to Italy in Manaus on Saturday.

While the rest of the starting XI from that match were put through a lighter session Monday, Rooney trained separately with the remainder of the squad as speculation mounts over whether he will retain his place for Thursday's crucial game. But the 28-year-old hit out at the English media for implying that he had been moved to the reserves.

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"[I] sometimes wonder what the press are getting at," Rooney wrote on his official Facebook page. "I said from the start I want to do everything I can to make sure I'm ready for these World Cup games and, as part of that, I was doing extra training a week before the squad joined up. That's exactly what I did [on Monday], my own extra training because that's what I wanted to do."

The Football Association also moved to clarify the situation, stating that Rooney asked to be allowed to take part in full training.

"Contrary to reports, Wayne Rooney requested additional training and worked with a wider group of players on Monday," it wrote on Twitter. "Following a recovery session on Sunday, a number of players continued two-day post-match recovery on Monday. Rooney was not in that group."

Former England international Gary Neville, who is a member of manager Roy Hodgson's backroom team, defended his ex-United teammate as well by claiming that it is impossible to make Rooney do a "light" session.

"I played with him for six or seven years — you couldn't get him to do a light day, that's his character," Neville told the FA's official website. "He's a street footballer in the sense that he just wants to play every second of every day. The players all have individual programmes that they follow but he has an enthusiasm for football that is incredible. He's been like that since the moment I first played against him when he was a young Everton kid."

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