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Lingard: You Can’t Criticise Rooney

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The Manchester United and England winger believes that hammering of his captain’s performances is unfair, given his extensive successes in the game over the years

 Nobody should be criticising Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney because of what he has achieved in the game, according to Jesse Lingard.

The winger – recalled to the England squad and hoping to win his first senior cap in the World Cup qualifier against Malta on Saturday – does not feel that his skipper at club and international level deserves recent negative publicity for his performances.

Rooney has lost his place in United’s starting XI and has also seen his position for the national team questioned despite being kept on as captain after Euro 2016 by former manager Sam Allardyce and new interim boss Gareth Southgate.

“I think that, really, because [of what he’s achieved], no-one can say anything [bad] about him,” Lingard told reporters of England’s record goalscorer.

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“He’s determined to get back and hopefully he can do that. I think he’s very determined.

“Even though he hasn’t been playing for the club, he’s still supporting us and he’s going to get back into the fold. He’s remained captain here, which is great, and that will be great for his confidence as well.

“I’ve known Wayne for a long time and he’s very determined to play. He’s got a love for the game which hasn’t left him. He’s been a top professional on and off the field for us and we look up to him as well.

“For the club, he’s a great leader for us – as young lads, we can speak to him whenever we want and he always helps the young lads, which is good. He’s been doing it now for a couple of years.”

Rooney has only scored once in 11 appearances for United and England in 2016-17.


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