FOOTBALL NEWS

22/06/2010 08:21, Report by Ben Hibbs
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Boss monitors strikers

Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that he has spoken to Wayne Rooney and told him to "relax and enjoy" the World Cup, despite what he described as the debilitating expectation that surrounds the England team at major tournaments.

The United boss was speaking to New York radio station Sirius and said: "I spoke to Wayne last week and I just said: 'Relax and enjoy it'. I just sensed there was a tension in and around the camp from what I was hearing.

"I didn't watch the Algeria game but I just get a feeling that the expectation is affecting the England team. Sometimes expectation can be debilitating in terms of getting the players to perform to the levels required to get through their group."

England face a decisive group game against Slovenia on Wednesday, but Sir Alex says he is not surprised that England have struggled to reach top form.

"It's been a disappointing World Cup [overall]. But I had a feeling that it would be. I have been disappointed with the quality levels, I have to say. I haven't been impressed at all. The season we have in Europe, particularly in England, is tough. Then the players all met up with their international squads three or four days after the season finished and they have been together for most of that

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Forward thinking

"I spoke to Wayne last week and I just said: 'Relax and enjoy it'."
- Sir Alex on Wayne

"Hernandez did very well [against France]. I was very pleased with his performance."
- Sir Alex on Javier

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