England insist star striker is unfazed by his father's arrest in a betting scam and is fully focussed on tonight's Euro 2012 Qualifier against Montenegro
England manager Fabio Capello brushed off concerns about Wayne Rooney's state of mind here yesterday after the star striker's father was arrested in connection with an alleged betting scam.
Ready to strike: England's Wayne Rooney during a training
session in Podgorica yesterday
Speaking on the eve of England's crucial Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro, Capello said Rooney was "relaxed and calm" following news of the corruption scandal which has embroiled his father and another relative.
"I spoke to him just five minutes ago," Capello told a press conference. "I found him relaxed and calm. There is no problem for the game, he will play tomorrow against Montenegro. He told me there are no problems."
Rooney's father and eight other people, reportedly including the Manchester United star's uncle Richie, were detained in a series of raids yesterday by police and gambling authorities.
The investigation is believed to centre around an incident in a Scottish Premier League match last year in which Motherwell midfielder Steve Jennings, who was also arrested yesterday, was sent off. England captain John Terry, who has also had members of his family placed under media scrutiny in the past, meanwhile backed Rooney to put the allegations out of his mind.
"Wayne is focused on the game tomorrow," Terry said. "We all realise the importance of that. It's important for him to go out there and play his football, which he loves doing. He'll always be fully focused on the pitch.
"When you're on the pitch and the training pitch you can switch off from anything in life. Tomorrow's game is the most important thing, we all appreciate that." England need only a point against Montenegro on Friday to clinch first place in Group G and assure themselves of qualification for next year's finals in Poland and Ukraine.
Capello stressed, however, that he expected his team to play for a win.
"It would be a big mistake if we were to play for a draw. We need to play to win. I think the players understand the need to play in the same style as always when we've played away from England. "I've spoken a lot about this and think they understand what I said."
Other key Euro Qualifiers tonight:
>> Finland vs Sweden
>> Slovakia vs Russia
>> Latvia vs Malta
>> Netherlands vs Moldova
>> Romania vs Belarus
>> Turkey vs Germany
>> Cyprus vs Denmark
>> Greece vs Croatia
>> Wales vs Switzerland
>> Serbia vs Italy
>> France vs Albania
>> Portugal vs Iceland