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Hodgson banking on Rooney return to boost England World Cup qualification

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By Adam Mazrani

Thursday 13 September 2012

Following England’s disappointing 1-1 draw with Ukraine at Wembley on Tuesday night, manager Roy Hodgson has spoken of his hope that Wayne Rooney returns from injury as quickly as possible to help his team to qualification for the 2014 World Cup, to be played in Brazil.

According to the Manchester Evening News, Hodgson has assured Rooney of his place as England’s star striker despite the 26-year-old’s problematic start to the season. Aside from the injury sustained in only his side’s second match at home to Fulham, Rooney has come under threat from new signings Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa at Old Trafford.

However, Hodgson stressed how great his need was for Rooney, particularly with two more World Cup qualifying matches on the horizon. “The sooner he comes back into our fold the better,” said Hodgson. “We are short of experienced and quality front players in England. We’ll get the best out of him because he’s desperate to play for England. Wayne is an excellent footballer and with quality players the quality is permanent.

Rooney’s return would bolster Hodgson’s attacking options following the draw with Ukraine, where England struggled to find a cutting edge. England continue their qualification campaign at home to San Marino on October 12th before making the trip to Poland four days later.

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