Sport

Manchester City star Lescott backs ‘mature’ Wayne Rooney to put red card behind him for key Montenegro clash

By Paddy von Behr

Manchester United star Wayne Rooney has grown up since his thoughtless red card against Montenegro two years ago, according to England teammate Joleon Lescott.

The striker saw red in a Euro 2012 qualifier – as England lost a two-goal lead – and missed the first two games of the tournament.

However, Lescott backed Rooney, and the rest of the squad, to show discipline when they face the same opponents in a crucial World Cup qualifier on Tuesday.

“Wayne is older now. He is more experienced and mature,” said the Manchester City defender.

“We all are. I don’t think there will be a problem. We want to be disciplined and professional.

“With the calibre of players in this squad, I don’t think it will be a problem.”

Montenegro have proved to be a tricky opponent for England in recent years, holding Roy Hodgson’s side to a draw in both Euro 2012 qualifying meetings.

Lescott is wary of the threat posed by Branko Brnovic’s side, as he prepares to face the likes of Mirko Vucinic and Stevan Jovetic.

But he also believes England can take Friday’s 8-0 win in San Marino and carry the confidence into Tuesday’s night’s game in Podgorica.

“Winning breeds confidence,” added Lescott.

“No disrespect to San Marino but we played well against them and we will hope to do the same on Tuesday.

“When we came away our aim was six points and that is still our main focus. Ukraine beating Poland on Friday night was a good result for us.

“If we win on Tuesday that would give us a good run into the second half of the qualifying campaign.”

Image courtesy of FATV via YouTube, with thanks.

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