Wayne Rooney will be fit for England's crucial World Cup qualifiers against Montengro and Poland after Manchester United manager David Moyes revealed tonight that the shin injury which kept him out of the side in Donetsk is a minor problem and not an impediment to him playing at Sunderland at the weekend.
England manager Roy Hodgson names his squad for the qualifiers today with Liverpool's Glen Johnson, Arsenal midfielders Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott and West Ham United striker Andy Carroll all missing. Moyes said he had planned to rest Rooney by keeping him on the bench. Though “at a push” he could have been risked n eastern Ukraine, he will travel to Wearside on Saturday, four days after clashing shins with Danny Welbeck in training on Tuesday - his fourth injury of the season.
Moyes declared that he had restored United to the basics of being difficult to beat, in the draw at Donetsk which removes some of the pressure which has engulfed him during his difficult early days at the helm.
After stiffening the midfield with an extra player, Moyes admitted that the 1-1 draw “wasn't the most exciting game” and also reflected the disappointment United's players clearly felt as they left the stadium - after failing to see out the lead they held for an hour. “We had to be harder to play against than we have been in recent games and we were tonight,” he said. “I want to see all the players play and give them all an opportunity. I am beginning to understand them better. They were aware of how tough a game it was going to be and they defended well throughout the whole game.”
Moyes rejected the idea that he had defended for a draw against Shakhtar, who had won the three previous games they had played here against English opposition in the Champions League. “We never played for a draw. We played to win,” he said. “It was a bit of disappointment we didn't see the game out, but Shaktar had a lot of pressure. I don't think they worried us, but unfortunately they have scored the goal late in the game. Shakhtar are a good team. They have a great reputation and they get good results here. It is a point away from home and I don't think it is a bad result. I'm disappointed we didn't go on to win 1-0, but I felt Shakhtar deserved something from the game.”
Moyes also argued that Marouane Fellani, strong in United's midfield, had been given “a hard night by Czech referee Pavel Kralovec.