Wayne Rooney: England expect incredible atmosphere

Wayne Rooney talks to the media ahead of the Scotland v England match. Picture: AFP

Wayne Rooney talks to the media ahead of the Scotland v England match. Picture: AFP

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WAYNE ROONEY is sure England will be able to keep their cool amid the white-hot atmosphere of Celtic Park on Tuesday night.

The atmosphere inside Wembley when England beat Slovenia 3-1 in their Euro 2016 qualifier on Saturday was sombre but 55,000 Scots will be determined to make Rooney and the rest of his team-mates feel unwelcome.

Rooney considers himself to be something of a Celtic fan. He has watched from the stands at Celtic Park after being given tickets by his old team-mate Alan Stubbs.

Rooney even stood in the away end at Ibrox a few years ago, cheering Celtic on during an Old Firm clash.

He does not think that will save him from an ear-splitting Glaswegian welcome on Tuesday, though.

“With the history between England and Scotland, it will be an intimidating atmosphere,” the England captain said.

“The atmosphere when you walk out is incredible and you know every tackle, every challenge, the fans are going to get behind the Scotland team. We have to be ready for that and I am sure we will be.”

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Three Lions manager Roy Hodgson sat next to Rooney during Monday’s press conference at the top of Celtic Way, just a few yards from statues of club greats including former manager Jock Stein.

Hodgson concurred with his captain’s view that his players must keep a cool head.

“The fans here give Celtic and Scotland incredible support. We will have to deal with that and not let it affect us mentally,” Hodgson said.

“Our younger players might not have had that experience. It will be hard-fought and competitive.”

It is likely to be a few years before anyone in the current squad joins the 100-cap club as Rooney did on Saturday.

Rooney is confident his players will not give Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson, who was criticised by Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini after they lost to Barcelona last year, an excuse to wield his cards.

Rooney said: “We have to play the game within the rules. I don’t think it’ll be like the games 20 years ago.”

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