Rooney hits out at press claims over fitness

Wayne Rooney has hit out at the British press amid suggestions he was told to take part in extra training to boost his match fitness.

The Manchester United striker came in for criticism for an underwhelming performance in England's 2-1 FIFA World Cup defeat to Italy in Manaus on Saturday.

While the rest of the starting XI from that match were put through a lighter session on Monday, Rooney trained separately with the remainder of the squad as speculation mounts over whether he will retain his place for the crucial Group D clash with Uruguay on Thursday.

However, the 28-year-old - who has yet to score in a World Cup match - insists that the extra training was at his own request. 

"(I) sometimes wonder what the press are getting at," Rooney wrote on official Facebook page.

"I said from the start I want to do everything I can to make sure I'm ready for these World Cup games and as part of that I was doing extra training a week before the squad joined up.

"That's exactly what I did (on Monday), my own extra training because that's what I wanted to do."

The Football Association have also clarified the situation, stating that Rooney asked to be allowed to take part in full training.

"Contrary to reports, Wayne Rooney requested additional training and worked with a wider group of players on Monday," the FA posted on their official Twitter account.

"Following a recovery session on Sunday a number of players continued two-day post-match recovery on Monday. Rooney was not in that group."

Former England international Gary Neville, who is a member of head coach Roy Hodgson's backroom team, defended his ex-United team-mate as well by claiming it is impossible to make Rooney do a light session.

"I played with him for six or seven years - you couldn't get him to do a light day, that's his character," Neville told the FA's official website.

"He's a street footballer in the sense that he just wants to play every second of every day.

"The players all have individual programmes that they follow, but he has an enthusiasm for football that is incredible. He's been like that since the moment I first played against him when he was a young Everton kid."


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