Harry: Rooney and Gerrard key

Harry Redknapp believes Wayne Rooney is as important to the England cause as Steven Gerrard and insists there should be no debate about his place in Roy Hodgson's starting line-up.

Rooney has faced criticism from some quarters for some indifferent performances in an England shirt compared to his displays at club level for Manchester United.

Rooney's relationship with the England faithful has also come under strain on a number of occasions in recent years - notably in 2010 World Cup when he criticised England fans who booed following the goalless draw with Algeria.

Rooney was also booed by some fans at Wembley on Saturday when he was interviewed before Froch - Groves II on Sky Sports Box Office.

But speaking at a Bet666 promotional event on Monday, Redknapp insists the 28-year-old should be one of the first names on the England team sheet.

"For me Rooney is an absolute certainty (to start for England). As certain as (Steven) Gerrard and one or two others in the team like (Joe) Hart, but Rooney would be on my team sheet for sure," the QPR manager told Sky Sports News.

"I'm a big Rooney fan. I think he is a fantastic player. Even last year when we went to Brazil and played in a friendly game I felt we were the better team and in the end we could have won that game quite easily and Rooney was outstanding.

"For me personally, Wayne is a certainty to play and I certainly wouldn't expect to see an England team without Rooney.

"But it's Roy's decision and I'm sure he will make the decision which he feels is right."

Redknapp also backed Hodgson's decision to add renowned sports psychologist Dr Steve Peters to his backroom team ahead of the World Cup.

"I think Steve Peters' presence will be important for England," he said.

"He has worked with Liverpool this year. Steven Gerrard has belief in him, he wants him on board, so I think he will definitely have a positive impact."