Hodgson tips Rooney to shine at World Cup

The 66-year-old coach can see no reason why the Manchester United won't excel in Brazil, and also moved to dispel fears surrounding the forward's temperament
England boss Roy Hodgson is confident that striker Wayne Rooney can maintain his fine form until next summer's World Cup.

The 28-year-old Manchester United ace has scored 10 goals for the English champions so far this season, including a double last time out in a 2-2 draw with Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

Rooney was a key figure for England in qualifying for the tournament, netting seven times as the Three Lions topped Group H, and Hodgson is backing him to continue his hot streak in Brazil.

"He's playing excellently at the moment," the national boss told the FA's official website. "He really is playing so well and I've got no reason to believe why that shouldn't continue week after week, match after match, all the way up until the World Cup.

"I think all players need that devil in them. The main thing about being a professional footballer - and we're talking about top-level Premier League level - you have to accept that you need that devil, that fight, in you every single week.

"There are days where you don't quite feel like it but the whole point about being a top player is, whether you feel like it or not, you go out and do it – and he does that."

Hodgson feels that having Rooney in peak condition at the World Cup would be a huge boost to the entire squad.

"I'm very fortunate that there are senior players, of which he is one, that do have a big influence and their thoughts on things and the way they approach things does have an effect on the rest of the group," he added.

"A Wayne Rooney in this sort of form would be a very positive impact on the squad.

"What you desperately hope is that players get through the season - they come as rested as they can possibly be - and it will our job to try and keep the atmosphere right. To try and keep it where everybody is singing off the same hymn sheet."