Referee must keep Rooney in line, insists Bulgaria coach

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The Independent Football

Stanimir Stoilov, the Bulgaria coach, considers England's players to be under as much scrutiny as Fabio Capello at Wembley tonight. He has also asked for the referee Viktor Kassai to punish Wayne Rooney if the pressure affects the forward.

Rooney has not scored an international goal for a year and after a disappointing World Cup was jeered by supporters when substituted against Hungary three weeks ago, although Stoilov has not instructed his players to provoke the striker. He said: "If Rooney is nervous because of his lack of goals he should be punished if he too aggressive, but that is the job of the referee.

"Rooney has great skills so I have to teach my players how to stop him on the pitch and not to provoke him. That is not the style of Bulgaria national team to provoke. We came here to play fairly."

Bulgaria also came to London to win, according to Stoilov. Capello has received criticism following the performances in South Africa over the summer but his Bulgarian counterpart says his players are also under pressure. "It is a problem the players of England should deal with," Stoilov added. "The pressure is not only on Capello but also the players."

Stoilov was not surprised at England's dismal World Cup and echoed the thoughts of Capello, who argues his players were tired as there is no winter break in the Premier League. "I wasn't very surprised by the performance of England at the World Cup because the season here is very hard to deal with and that is probably the main reason why they are not playing well at the World Cup or European Championship."

Bulgaria's danger men

Valeri Bojinov Age 24, striker (31 caps, 7 goals)

A teenage sensation, Bojinov made his debut in Italian football aged 15 years and 11 months. A transfer to Manchester City in 2007 brought much anticipation but serious injuries limited the player to just 11 games in two seasons. He returned to Italy with Parma in 2009, where he has rediscovered his scoring touch.

Martin Petrov 31, winger (78 caps, 19 goals)

Bulgaria's main creative outlet, Bolton's Petrov can play down either wing. His explosive attacking play made him a hit at Manchester City during a three-year stint. However, a persistent knee injury and the influx of talent saw Petrov become surplus to requirements.

Ivelin Popov 22, striker (16 caps, 3 goals)

Stepping in to the void left by Dimitar Berbatov's international retirement, Popov has an impressive scoring record at Bulgarian champions Litex. Was expected to join Blackburn this summer but opted for a transfer to Turkey's Gaziantepspor.

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