Roy Hodgson hit out at suggestions there is a rift between Jamie Vardy and Wayne Rooney ahead of England’s clash with Iceland.
England boss Hodgson was in relaxed mood as he and Rooney took questions in Nice, appearing less tense than during his similar engagement during the group stages.
But his avuncular demeanour gave way to something a little more testy when a German broadcaster queried Rooney about newspaper reports that he had spoken with Leicester forward Vardy about his wife Rebekah and her growing profile during the tournament.
Hodgson intervened on his skipper’s behalf, saying: “I’ll answer for Wayne.
“I haven’t a clue what you are referring to. There are absolutely no problems in football terms between Wayne Rooney and Jamie Vardy, quite the reverse… they are very close friends on and off the field.
“I would certainly advise Wayne to give no comment. It’s obviously one salacious story someone has managed to spin.”
The questioner tried his luck by asking about the effect of Great Britain’s EU referendum vote on the team’s preparations and found only slightly more joy from a now guarded Hodgson.
“As far as ‘Brexit’ is concerned, that’s of great interest to the nation, but as far as we’re concerned our concentration has just been about football,” he said.
“We voted when we could, we had our say, and our nation had its say.
“We will live with that. But it hasn’t affected our preparations for this game. We have to accept that, back home, a major decision was taken which we’ll deal with when we return.”