Rooney refuses to take it easy

England star Wayne Rooney has no intention of protecting himself to ensure he gets to the World Cup in one piece.

Rooney injured his neck during the latter stages of Monday night's friendly win over Mexico at Wembley, sparking yet more concerns about his well-being.

It is only a month ago that Rooney was struck down by ankle and groin injuries that helped wreck Manchester United's bid for Premier League and Champions League glory.

Fabio Capello moved quickly to allay fears about the 24-year-old's latest knock, and Rooney clearly has no intention of wrapping himself in cotton wool to avoid further fitness concerns.

"You have to go into each game and play like you normally do," he said.

"If things happen then hard luck. We'll just have to get on with it.

"It's not pressure. I just try to give my all every time I play.

"I actually feel quite good. I have a bit of a stiff neck but that will be gone in a couple of days."

A more obvious problem is the fact Rooney has scored just once in his last seven games, having bagged 10 in a similar amount of time just before.

Sunday's final friendly with Japan in Graz offers another opportunity for the striker to end that run, and open a gap over Peter Crouch that narrowed to just four when the Tottenham man scored his 21st international goal on Monday night.

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