sport

Rooney not bothered by critics

Wayne Rooney says he is not bothered by people who have been critical of his performances and called for him to be dropped from the England team.

The Manchester United striker's place in Roy Hodgson's starting line-up has come under the spotlight following concerns over his fitness and an indifferent performance in last week's friendly against Peru.

But Rooney offered the perfect response after netting England's opener in the 2-2 draw against Ecuador on Wednesday despite being asked to play out wide by Hodgson.

"I am not really interested," Rooney said when asked about claims he should be dropped. "A lot of people have their opinions - but I listen to the people around me and in the coaching set-up.

"I don't listen to people outside of the set-up really so anyone, journalists can say what they want. I have got no interest in listening to them."

Everton's Ross Barkley, Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Liverpool new-boy Rickie Lambert showed glimpses of their quality in the game against Ecuador and Rooney acknowledged competition for attacking places is fierce.

"I don't think anyone is guaranteed a start in the team," he said. "It is down to the manager to pick the team.

"I think all the young players are pushing Roy for a start. It is a good squad so the manager will have some tough decisions I am sure and that is down to him to do."

The 28-year-old also insisted he is happy to play anywhere Hodgson asks him to.

"I enjoy playing for my country whether it is left wing, right wing, midfield or up front," he said.

"I am always proud to play for England and that won't change no matter where I am on the pitch. It is down to the manager to pick where he plays me and I am happy to play anywhere."

Rooney was a constant threat during the 65 minutes he played against Ecuador in Miami and the striker was pleased with his overall performance as he steps up his recovery from a groin injury.

"I feel good. Obviously, I need minutes so I was happy to get them on Wednesday," he said.

"I tried just to get into the box. I was a bit lucky that it came off the post and fell to me so I am pleased with it.

"It is always a great joy to score for England. I was obviously pleased to score to get us back in the game. I was delighted. I feel good, I feel ready and I am just looking forward to the tournament."