LONDON: Roy Hodgson believes the delight of getting back out on the pitch will ensure Wayne Rooney relegates his club concerns for the evening at least when England host Scotland at Wembly on Wednesday.
“His mind is fine,” said England manager Hodgson, asked about Rooney’s attitude in training after all the uncertainty over his Manchester United future. “He can compartmentalise club and country, which I expect from all players. Players cannot bring their club problems to England.”
Hodgson added: “If there were any problems with England, they cannot take them back to their clubs. It is two separate identities. I expect players, when they come here [to join up with England], to be fully focused on playing for England.”
Rooney has played just one pre-season game – a behind-closed-doors encounter against Real Betis – for Manchester United in the build-up to the 2013-14 season.
He has been suffering with hamstring and shoulder injuries, while United have turned down two bid from Chelsea with another expected after the clubs meet in the Premier League later this month.
Rooney, who has 83 caps for England and has scored 36 goals, missed United’s 2-0 win over Wigan in Sunday’s FA Community Shield because of a shoulder injury.
Asked if Rooney would be fit enough to start against Scotland, Hodgson said: “I think so. We will see on Tuesday how he reacts to Monday’s session because it might have been a bit more intense than the work he has been able to do while recovering from injury.
“If there are no problems, and he comes through the training session well, we will speak to him and make a decision.
“Whether he starts or comes on the field at some later stage is of less importance to me than the fact he is there, ready to play football for us and will hopefully be ready for the [World Cup qualifying] games in September and October.”
England face Moldova and Ukraine in crucial World Cup qualifying matches next month, with Hodgson’s side second in their group – a point behind leaders Montenegro with a game in hand.
Montenegro and Poland then await England in October as qualifying for next year’s World Cup in Brazil reaches a climax.
“What will interest me more than rivalry is our performance [against Scotland],” added Hodgson. “I am very interested to see what sort of performance we can give against a tough opponent, as we have some very, very tough games coming up.
“This will be, if you like, a litmus paper of how we are going to go.”