Rooney refuses to take it easy

Rooney injured his neck during the latter stages of Monday night’s

friendly win over Mexico at Wembley, sparking yet more concerns

about his well-being. It is only a month ago that Rooney was struck

down by ankle and groin injuries that helped wreck Manchester

United’s bid for Premier League and Champions League glory. Fabio

Capello moved quickly to allay fears about the 24-year-old’s latest

knock, and Rooney clearly has no intention of wrapping himself in

cotton wool to avoid further fitness concerns. “You have to go into

each game and play like you normally do,” he said. “If things

happen then hard luck. We’ll just have to get on with it. “It’s not

pressure. I just try to give my all every time I play. “I actually

feel quite good. I have a bit of a stiff neck but that will be gone

in a couple of days.” A more obvious problem is the fact Rooney has

scored just once in his last seven games, having bagged 10 in a

similar amount of time just before. Sunday’s final friendly with

Japan in Graz offers another opportunity for the striker to end

that run, and open a gap over Peter Crouch that narrowed to just

four when the Tottenham man scored his 21st international goal on

Monday night.