The extracts on this page are taken from selected national newspapers. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Manchester United.
Rooney’s never let me down
Roy Hodgson insists he retains complete faith in Wayne Rooney. The striker was left out of the Champions League second-leg clash against Real Madrid as Manchester United crashed out. And there were questions about whether he was past his best. But Hodgson maintains Rooney, who has scored 33 goals in 79 internationals, is a vital member of his team. He said: “As England manager, I’ve never had any issues with Wayne and I’m pleased to have the chance to work with him in the coming eight or nine days.” Rooney, of course, was sent off when England played Montenegro in a Euro 2012 qualifier and was banned for the first two games of the finals. But Hodgson does not foresee problems when England return to Montenegro for the game on March 26. He said: “I don’t think I will speak to him personally on the matter because he is more than aware. You don’t forget your sendings-off. On the other hand, I want to emphasise that his disciplinary record, ignoring that occasion which he paid dearly for, has actually been very good. Wayne has not let me down as a player so I have no reason to doubt him. He’s scoring goals and there’s no reason for his confidence to be fragile. He’s so experienced.”
Of course, today’s papers are packed with reaction to Rio Ferdinand’s England recall. Daniel Taylor of The Guardian says the decision “is a bow to common sense” while the Daily Mail’s Martin Samuel says the Reds defender is “the right man at the right time.”
Elsewhere, The Telegraph says a line-up of FA legends, managed by Hodgson, will take on the current British Army team who will be bossed by Stuart Pearce with various famous faces involved, including United legend Gary Neville.