Rooney to captain England against Scotland, says interim manager

London, Nov 10 (IANS) England football team’s interim manager Gareth Southgate has confirmed striker Wayne Rooney will captain England in the World Cup qualifier against Scotland at the Wembley Stadium here on Friday.

The 31-year-old forward and skipper was dropped for the previous game, a 0-0 draw in Slovenia last month.

“He’s in a better place than for the last get-together in terms of sharpness and confidence,” Southgate was quoted as saying by BBC.

“He’s an experienced player for a game like this and there is no hesitation to be playing him.”

Southgate, who was put in charge of the senior team for four games following the departure of Sam Allardyce after only one match, saw England beat Malta 2-0 and draw with Slovenia in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

Asked if he wanted the job on a permanent basis, he said: “I’m really enjoying being in the role.”

“What happens to me is not important. We have to win this game for the country, and because we want to be top of the group and heading to (the 2018 World Cup) in Russia,” Southgate said.

“What happens to me is important to my family, but other than that it isn’t the purpose of the game. I want the players to enjoy the football and play well.”

He added, “My focus is 100 percent on the match and it would irresponsible and unprofessional for it to be any other way.”

–IANS

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