London – Roy Hodgson is preparing to gamble with his future by playing Wayne Rooney in his favoured No 10 role in tomorrow’s do-or-die World Cup clash with Uruguay.
Rooney was restored to the position throughout the team’s 90-minute training session on Tuesday.
Raheem Sterling played on the right and Danny Welbeck on the left.
It is the strongest indication yet that Hodgson is prepared to play Rooney in the position where the striker believes he can do most damage.
Rooney has scored 39 goals for England but has still to score in a World Cup after drawing another blank against Italy in the 2-1 defeat last Saturday.
One player who looks likely to miss out is midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after he continued to train away from the group.
England’s players also practised penalties again, with Rooney, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Rickie Lambert and Leighton Baines taking spot-kicks. Thursday night will go a long way to deciding whether they even reach the knockout stages.
Lampard backed Rooney to step up and dominate games.
Lampard said: “He’s an exceptional player, and if we’re going to go on and do well in this World Cup, players like Wayne will come to the fore, because that’s what they do.
“No matter how tough you are, if every time you read a paper or look at the TV and there are people debating your position, I don’t see that can be positive. Until Wayne pops up with a goal, the column inches will keep happening but it’s frustrating.
“We’re over-fixated on one player who has been our top scorer in qualifying and will break the England goalscoring record.”
Lampard also revealed he and Gerrard spoke to the squad after the defeat by Italy, telling them not to leave Brazil with regrets.
Meanwhile, Luis Suarez is poised to start the game.
The Liverpool striker sat out Uruguay’s opener against Costa Rica to protect his knee and cut a frustrating figure on the bench as they lost 3-1.
However, Uruguay’s medical staff are convinced the 27-year-old talisman can start the clash.
Suarez said: “I have been training for a few days with the team and I am 100 percent ready, I now only need time on the pitch and to play the game.” _ © Daily Mail