Hahnemann: Roo can handle pressure

Published Jun. 6, 2010 7:41 a.m. EDT

Hahnemann is aware of the massive expectation levels always resting on Rooney's shoulders to deliver the goods for club and country. But the veteran Wolves player believes Rooney will be able to deal with the demands ahead of England's opener with the USA in Rustenburg on Saturday. Hahnemann, who made three fine saves in the USA's 3-1 win over Australia on Saturday, said: "The whole England team are under extreme amounts of pressure. "I am never under that sort of pressure. You can go out wherever you want. Everyone doesn't recognise you. "With someone like Wayne Rooney, you have that fan pressure as well where they cannot make any mistakes at all. "Everyone was saying 'if Wayne Rooney doesn't play well, Man Utd are not going to win the championship' - and all season it was like that. "Now, with the World Cup, there is a lot of weight on his shoulders but they have so many good players. "I think Wayne can cope with it. We have all watched him grow up. When he first played for Everton, you could see that he was such a good player. "Now this season it seems like he has got everything. It will be great to see how he does in the World Cup." Hahnemann also feels Rooney has matured since his red card against Portugal during the 2006 World Cup. He said: "You could tell when he was going to get booked. "You would watch him chase and run around, felt that he was going to 'kill' someone, and sure enough, 45 seconds later he was getting booked. "That is under control but then I had that temperament when I was a young kid. "Now you manage it, stay cooler and I play better and Wayne has done the same thing." Hahnemann is backing Michael Dawson to be a ready-made replacement for injured skipper Rio Ferdinand who has been ruled out of the tournament with his knee problem. He said: "Rio is a leader but I've seen Dawson play and I'd take him on my team anyway. "He is a good player - even though Wolves beat Tottenham twice last season."