WAYNE ROONEY insists he has no problem with his fitness despite a subdued display in England’s embarrassing European Championship draw with Montenegro.
On Tuesday night Rooney looked a shadow of the player who helped put Bulgaria and Switzerland to the sword just a month earlier as England failed to score in a game at the new Wembley for the first time.
The 24-year-old was playing his first match for more than a fortnight after missing Manchester United’s Champions League win in Valencia and Barclays Premier League draw at Sunderland. Rooney’s form has dipped since unsavoury allegations about his private life emerged in the wake of the Bulgaria win.
But his omission from United’s recent games was down to an ankle injury, which manager Alex Ferguson did not want to aggravate, despite the striker continuing to train.
Rooney said: “I’ve been training for the last two months where I haven’t missed a training session, so I have no problems with my fitness.”
Rooney, who passed up two good chances to spare England’s blushes on Tuesday night, added: “I felt sharp, had a couple of chances; maybe with the first I could have done better but the ‘keeper made a good save with the second one.”
Rooney echoed his team-mates in questioning the performance of German referee Manuel Grafe, accusing the official of giving England’s players “no protection whatsoever”.
Ashley Young was the victim of several poor tackles while in full flight, although he sullied his own reputation when he was booked for diving in the area.
A second penalty incident appeared to go against England, however, when the ball struck Milan Jovanovic’s arm.
“From where I was, I thought it was a definite handball,” Rooney said.
“I don’t think the ref did us any favours. We, as players, felt there was no protection whatsoever.”
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