Rooney to start on bench in Spain with Vardy doubtful

Date published: Thursday 12th November 2015 1:50

Spain v England: Tough friendly for Roy Hodgson's side

Spain v England: Tough friendly for Roy Hodgson's side

England captain Wayne Rooney will not start Friday’s friendly against Spain in Alicante, with Jamie Vardy a doubt due to a niggle.

Hodgson said he is keen to give all of England’s forward players a chance to press their case ahead of Euro 2016 so Rooney will instead feature against France next Tuesday, presuming the Manchester United striker is fit.

Hodgson said: “Wayne’s with me today because he’s the captain of our team, he’s the most important figure as a result, but he actually won’t start the game tomorrow.

“I’m telling you that because Wayne and I are very anxious that we’re not trying to fool anybody or bamboozle anybody when he’s sat alongside me.

“That’s for the very simple reason that we’re looking at vacrious combinations.

“Wayne is pencilled in against France on Tuesday.”

Rooney understands the need to rotate the squad, adding: “It’s important especially in these games that the manager has a chance to see as many players as he can before the tournament in the summer.

“As a player you want to play but you have understand that there are bigger things to consider.”

Vardy, who has scored in his last nine Premier League matches, is doubtful due to a niggle he picked up in Leicester City’s victory over Watford.

Hodgson added: “Jamie Vardy is struggling with a knock he picked up on Saturday. We’re monitoring it, we’re still working on it but it looks unlikely at this moment in time that he’ll be able to play tomorrow.”

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