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Hodgson confident Rooney will keep discipline in check against Montenegro

Hodgson confident Rooney will keep discipline in check against Montenegro

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The 65-year-old Three Lions boss doesn't believe there will be a repeat of the sending off suffered by the forward the last time the two sides faced off in Podgorica in 2011.

England manager Roy Hodgson has dismissed fears that Wayne Rooney will rise to any form of provocation when the side plays Montenegro on Tuesday evening.

The 26-year-old Manchester United forward was sent off after lashing out against defender Miodrag Dzudovic in a 2-2 draw in Podgorica in October 2011 under Fabio Capello's reign, which saw him miss the first two games of Euro 2012 through suspension.

However, Hodgson believes such incidents are confined to the past now for Rooney and that as a group, the England team has become an organized and disciplined outfit.

"In particularly with Wayne, his disciplinary record since that time has been absolutely outstanding," Hodgson told reporters.

"As Steven [Gerrard] will testify we always talk about discipline. It's a word that comes up quite often, not least of all in terms of the tactical discipline we try to show on the field. But that also leads of course to the personal discipline. But as you rightly say I do trust the players and I won't be making a particular point of it because I know the players are aware of it. They don't need me to repeat it to them."

Hodgson faces a selection headache in central defense ahead of the crucial World Cup qualifying game in Group H, with the likes of Phil Jagielka and Gary Cahill missing through injury, but the coach gave his backing to the partnership of Joleon Lescott and Chris Smalling that started against San Marino.

"I just remind people at least that in Joleon Lescott we have a man who last year helped Man City to their first Premier League title in 40-odd years," the manager said. "And in Chris Smalling we have somebody who's playing regularly for the champions elect, so it's not as if we've been forced to play players who don't play at the highest level and who don't have the ability to play at the highest level.

"I personally trust the pair of them. I think they're going to do very well tomorrow night, so I don't have any concerns. There will be no sleep lost for me in that position because I think we have two very good players in that position and furthermore, I also think [Steven] Taylor and [Steven] Caulker could quite happily come in and do the job as well."

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