The eyes of England and the world will be on Rooney, says Hodgson

The Three Lions boss is confident that any failure on the Manchester United star's part to shine for his country in Brazil would "not be for the want of trying"
England manager Roy Hodgson says that "the eyes of the world" will be on Wayne Rooney at the World Cup but is confident that the Manchester United striker can make an impact in Brazil.

While recognised as one of the Three Lions' most talented players, the 28-year-old has often failed to shine at major tournaments but comes into this summer on the back of a 19-goal, 17-assist season for his club.

"I hope so," Hodgson told reporters when asked if Rooney could deliver. "It certainly won’t be for want of trying.

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"He realises what a good player he is, he recognises that the footballing nation place a lot of faith on him and the eyes of England, if not the rest of the world, are on him. He’ll do everything in his power to bring out his best qualities.

"He’s spent his week off here in Portugal but he trained during that time and he was concerned to get over that injury because he told me ‘I want to be 100 per cent when we start training’. I left him out of the shooting training because I think I should protect his thigh but, if it had been up to him, he would have taken part."

The England boss added that only defender John Stones, on the seven-man standby list for the tournament, has been an injury concern in the early days of their training camp in Portugal, with the man for whom he is primarily covering, Phil Jones, recovering quickly.

"We had a slightly unfortunate incident [on Tuesday] with John Stones, he twisted his knee in training," Hodgson explained. "It’s nothing serious but we chose to leave him out to not run any risks.

"It was nice to see Phil Jones in the warm-up. He’s going well and he might take part later this week."

Hodgson's squad for Brazil has plenty of young talent, including the likes of teenager Luke Shaw, but he is adamant that they are there to be effective now rather than build for the future.

The manager continued: "I made it clear to [the young players] that they’re there on merit. They’re not there to make up the numbers or prepare for the future, they’re here to help England do well in the World Cup. They’ve got that message and so far they’ve integrated into the group very well.

"I think they’re excited to be selected. Everyone realised that my need to make a choice was a difficult one because it wasn’t just a question of just take those who are there – there are a lot more players who could have been chosen.

"There’s a feeling of tremendous enthusiasm and energy because they’re all so happy that they’re taking part in this great adventure and they’re going to be leading England in these next few weeks."