Ferdinand backs Rooney to impress

Rio Ferdinand is backing Wayne Rooney to deliver a top notch performance after his recent problems in England's Euro 2012 qualifier with Montenegro at Wembley tonight.

Rooney has been declared fit barely two weeks after an ankle injury threatened the participation of the Manchester United striker.

He has also had to deal with allegations about events in his private life.

But Ferdinand, restored as captain after returning from injury, has faith in Rooney to repeat the form he showed in last month's qualifiers with Bulgaria and Switzerland as a second striker.

Ferdinand said: "Wayne has been under immense pressure because of the reasons we know, but he has been fantastic in training. He has been the same old Wazza around the training ground, which we all love.

"If we are going to win anything, we need him playing to his tip top form. I am sure we will see a good performance from him against Montenegro."

Ferdinand believes Rooney will have had all the advice he has needed in recent weeks.

He said: "I think Wayne will have had a lot of advice from various different quarters. I've been in situations to know that sometimes you don't want to be peppered by everybody.

"You want to dissect things yourself and make your own choices.

"When you feel you want to ask a question, you do. Wayne will have had people around him offering advice."

Ferdinand admits there is a good spirit in the England squad he has rejoined for the first time since suffering a knee ligament injury which ruled him out of the World Cup.

He said: "It is a fresh squad, with a few fresh faces. Training alongside the likes of Jack Wilshere and Adam Johnson, these are hungry, talented boys, who are trying to get into the team.

"I feel quite old having these 20-year-old lads running around my feet. But there is a good ambience. Long may it continue.

"It is unfortunate when you have injuries in the squad, but football is about players coming in and taking their chance, putting themselves in the manager's eye.

"We have some very good players in this squad. Fingers crossed we can put on a good performance and give the fans what they want."

Not that Ferdinand is taking anything for granted as Montenegro top the group with maximum points from their opening three games.

He said: "I have seen Montenegro play before. They have some talented players. I knew they would be one of the stand-out teams in the group.

"I knew it would be a hard game. We have to make sure we bring our A game and put the match to bed because they have started very well in the group."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
A recent rise in net migration has been considered bad news for the Government
voicesYet when we talk about it, the national media goes into a frenzy, says Nigel Farage
Life and Style
Miracle muffin: chemicals can keep a muffin looking good at least a month after it was bought
food + drinkThe alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Sport
Jonny Evans and Papiss Cisse come together
football
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic