19 Jun 2014

Rooney hits out

1:38 pm on 19 June 2014

Wayne Rooney has criticised sections of the media who've questioned his form and speculated that the England forward has been relegated to training with the reserves at their base in Brazil.

The Manchester United striker came in for criticism following a muted performance in their opening 2-1 loss to Italy in with the Daily Mirror reporting he was now battling "to save his World Cup."

Rooney, who was used in a less-favoured left-sided role against Italy, was the only outfield player who started that match to do a full training session, with the other nine only doing a gentle warm-down.

He has been shunted out of his favoured position in the current England set-up with Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge occupying the sole central striking role.

The England assistant coach and former Manchester United team mate Gary Neville says the current focus on Rooney was part of an English obsession with targetting big players.

Neville also defended England's display against Italy, saying the poor result was tempered by the quality of the football on show.

England play Uruguay in their second group match on Friday.