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Last Updated: Monday, 1 May 2006, 22:26 GMT 23:26 UK
Ferguson warns Eriksson on Rooney
Wayne Rooney
Rooney faces a nervous wait over his foot injury
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has criticised England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson over his belief Wayne Rooney can play in the World Cup.

Ferguson said: "We will do our best to get the boy to Germany but if he is not fit, he is not going to go.

"In six weeks' time Rooney will have another two weeks to get fit to play in the quarter-final of a World Cup. That is a wild dream.

"Sven saying he'll take Wayne fit or not was something we didn't want."

Eriksson has indicated he will probably take Rooney to Germany whether he is fit or not.

Ferguson has not yet spoken to Eriksson about Rooney's injury, which was sustained in United's defeat at Chelsea on Saturday.

I would think this injury is even more of a killer-blow to him because he knows he is missing major tournaments
Sir Alex Ferguson

"I have left messages on his phone but I have not spoken to him," said Ferguson. "But obviously the club will deal directly with the Football Association and make sure they are kept fully informed of Wayne's progress.

"We are doing a CAT scan on him on Wednesday and he will get that checked every week."

Ferguson accepts Rooney's absence would harm Eriksson's hopes of success this summer.

"Without doubt it is a crippling blow for England," he said.

"When you see brave players staying down after a tackle you know it's genuine and he's in pain and that's what I felt with Wayne.

"At first we didn't think it was too bad, but when we sent him for the scan it identified the problem and we realised what a blow it was for the boy and for England.

"I spoke to Wayne on Saturday and he was obviously a bit down, but I told him these things happen."

The injury is the same one that ended Rooney's Euro 2004 campaign - but Ferguson knows the timing is even worse for him this time.

He added: "I would think this injury is even more of a killer-blow to him because he knows he is missing major tournaments.

"This time round it is even worse because he is more mature and is a more rounded player who has improved dramatically over the last two years. So it is a real, real blow."

If England don't have Wayne Rooney they will need to look at getting inspiration from other players
Sir Alex Ferguson

He explained: "I have tried to get hold of Sven so I can give him as clear an opinion from us as possible because he will be reading a lot of stuff in the newspapers.

"We have spoken to the England doctor and I think it is important that I give as much as information as I can to Sven to make sure he is absolutely clear on what road he can take.

"Wayne will be in plaster for the next few weeks and he'll be having regular scans to see how it is healing."

The Scot added he was unhappy that Rooney had been saddled with such a burden of national expectation.

"I said a few weeks ago that I didn't want to see this kind of pressure on a lad of 20," said Ferguson.

"Other more experienced players such as David Beckham, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, John Terry, Rio Ferdinand and Gary Neville, should be taking the mantle.

"If England don't have Wayne Rooney they will need to look at getting inspiration from other players."

Eriksson set to gamble on Rooney
30 Apr 06 |  England


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