Trinidad & Tobago ready for England 'with or without Rooney'

The Trinidad & Tobago coach, Leo Beenhakker, insists that his side are happy to face England with or without Wayne Rooney at this summer's World Cup.

The two nations meet in Nuremberg on 15 June and with England the clear favourites, the expected absence of the injured Rooney could favour Beenhakker's men. But the Dutch coach believes this summer's showpiece is the perfect arena for Rooney to showcase his talent and has sent the Manchester United striker his best wishes.

"I am very sorry for the guy," he said. "I think first of all, the World Cup is a platform for great players.

"Football is for the fans and for the public, and they want to see players that can bring something extra, like the Ronaldinhos, and the Eto'os and the Rooneys.

"Those players have to be there because it's exactly what the World Cup is all about and from my heart, I hope he can make it because everybody wants to see him. I hope he is fit and healthy as soon as possible because it would be fantastic to see him play. For us, it doesn't matter if we play England with or without him. They have many great players."

For the former British colony, there has been much hype around the England fixture since the World Cup draw was made in December. Beenhakker has also named 15 British-based players in their final 23-man squad, and coming to England this week for a one-week training camp in Cheshire has done little to ease the anticipation.

Yet the former Ajax and Real Madrid manager insists that he and his players are not getting distracted.

"I'm not fixated on England," he said. "There is always two sides in football. One side is the fans and the media, who like to blow things up, and the other is the professionals, and we are always focused on the next game.

"The most important match in your career is always the next game, and I can assure you that me, the team and the rest of our staff are only focused on one thing, and that's Sweden."

The Soca Warriors, who are making their first World Cup finals appearance, play the Swedes on 10 June in Dortmund, with their final Group B game against Paraguay on 20 June.

Elsewhere, the Olympic boxing silver medallist Amir Khan has advised England's World Cup prodigy Theo Walcott to use the support of his family to help him stay grounded. Walcott was thrown into the media spotlight when the 17-year-old was selected for Sven Goran Eriksson's squad for Germany despite not playing a first-team match for Arsenal

The Bolton boxer Khan, 19, knows all about the pressures of fame having become an overnight star after winning a silver medal at the Athens Olympics two years ago. But he said if he stepped out of line he would expect "a clip round the ear". "It is hard because you are young. The best thing to say is: don't let it get too much - but be yourself," said Khan. "That is what I did at the Olympic Games as I was the youngest member of the team. You also need to keep your family support and keep the right people around you."

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
President Obama, one of the more enthusiastic users of the fist bump
science
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
tv
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
News
Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders were pictured embracing in 2012
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

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried