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World Cup 2010: US will not wind up Wayne Rooney

Landon Donavon

World Cup guide: USA

International users can view US guide here

ENGLAND v UNITED STATES
Venue: Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg Date: 12 June Time: 1930 BST Coverage: Live on BBC Radio 5 Live and ITV1; live text commentary and in-depth analysis on BBC Sport website Full details of BBC World Cup coverage

The United States will not set out to wind up Wayne Rooney in Group C's World Cup opener against England on Saturday, insists their manager Bob Bradley.

Rooney's temperament was questioned after he was given a warning by referee Jeff Selogilwe after being booked in a warm-up victory over Platinum Stars.

But Bradley denied his team would target the striker in Rustenburg

"I'm asked this a lot and no we won't try and wind him up. We don't get into that sort of thing," said Bradley.

England and the US get their World Cup campaigns off and running with their match on Saturday evening, kick-off at 1930 BST.

And with Rooney, widely regarded as England's most important player, expected to lead the line in Rustenburg, questions have again been asked about the Manchester United star's ability to control his temper.

Phil McNulty Blog
If Rooney can blow up, however briefly, in a game of such minor significance, what might he be tempted to do when the World Cup is at stake?

The 24-year-old, sent off at the last World Cup in 2006 for stamping on Portugal's Ricardo Carvalho in their quarter-final tie, got involved in a needless spat with Platinum Stars' Kagiso Senamela during the 3-0 victory before being booked for dissent on Monday.

It prompted Selogilwe to note after the game: "I didn't expect a player like Rooney to insult the ref. If it happens in that way, you are not going to see Rooney in the World Cup."

Team-mates Rio Ferdinand and Jermain Defoe spoke out in defence of Rooney, the former insisting "Wayne's experienced now. His disciplinary record has been magnificent over the last couple of years," while Defoe referred to Rooney's temperament as "a good thing, if under control".

But there have still been suggestions that teams could look to target the England striker's temper in an effort to put him off his game or even get him sent off.

However, Bradley and US striker Landon Donovan refused to be drawn on the subject at a pre-match press conference.

"I have tremendous respect for Rooney and what he brings to England in so many ways," said Bradley. "His effort, his competitiveness, his movement, his influence on that team is great.

"But we won't try and wind him up."

No plans to provoke Rooney - Bradley

Donovan added: "I think Rooney is going to be just fine."

The last time the two sides met was in an international at Wembley in October 2007, with England emerging 2-0 winners thanks to goals from Steven Gerrard and John Terry.

Bradley, however, believes his team have developed significantly since that match.

"Those kind of games provide good experiences although I don't believe we were overawed that night," he said. "We have grown as a team a lot since then. We have played a lot of top opponents and those kind of games continue to help us improve.

"There is a core of players that have been through all those experiences, including the Confederations Cup last summer and, from that point of view, I think our leadership is strong.

"Our ability to use those experiences, good ones, bad ones, knowing how to stick together, can stand us in good stead.

"We understand that when we all play as a team, when everyone is committed the right way, we can compete with the top teams."

Wayne Rooney

World Cup guide - England

International users can view England guide here



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see also
England players warned on dissent
10 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Joe Cole seeks start against US
09 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
No fears over Rooney - Ferdinand
08 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Barry to sit out England opener
07 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
DeMerit warns US of Rooney threat
07 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
English flag to fly above No 10
10 Jun 10 |  Politics
Capello angry with photographers
09 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
England training photos
04 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup venues
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010


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