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FIFA World Cup: England Coach Roy Hodgson to give Wayne Rooney chance to build sharpness

England manager Roy Hodgson will give Wayne Rooney another chance to improve his match-sharpness with a start in Wednesday’s friendly against Ecuador.

And the former Liverpool boss is set to try-out Manchester City midfielder James Milner at right-back.

Rooney’s form has been a talking point in England but Hodgson said the decision not to rest him, unlike several other starters from Friday’s 3-0 win over Peru, was mainly about getting him up to match-preparation.

“The thinking behind Wayne starting a second game is quite simple. He only played 60 minutes the other day, he didn’t play many games before he came to join us, we think that he is recovering his match fitness and we think starting the game and playing a part of the game will be to his advantage. We will see how long he plays and that will be based on how his fitness is progressing,” he said.

Much of the debate around Rooney has focused on whether he should be used as an out-and-out striker, in a withdrawn role or out wide, but Hodgson said he was simply pleased to have those options.

“Wayne is a very useful player in that you don’t have to pin him down and say this is the only position that he can play. We have seen him play centre-forward, we have seen him play behind the centre-forward and we have seen him play wide. If he has done all of those things at the very top level for Manchester United there is no reason why I can’t use him in those positions as well,” he said.

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