SOUTHGATE INSISTS ROONEY MAINTAINS HIS POSITION

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The Interim manager of the England’s senior men team, Gareth Southgate declares that captain Wayne Rooney must display positional discipline during his managerial tenure.


Under-21 coach, Southgate took over the senior team following the departure of Sam Allardyce, who was recorded by undercover reporters discussing the circumvention of Football Association transfer regulations.
Southgate assured the England international, Rooney that he will retain his captain band despite having lost his place in his club side, Manchester United first eleven.

The 30-year-old has struggled to gain his best form lately this season as he was deployed as a midfielder, an experiment with decidedly mixed results, by United’s former manager, Louis van Gaal and Allardyce's predecessor, Roy Hodgson.

Allardyce, somewhat surprisingly for the man with the ultimate responsibility for preparing and instructing the team, affirmed that he could not tell his captain where to play on the field.

Manchester United’s manager, Jose Mourinho who recently demoted Rooney to the Old Trafford bench, does not consider his skipper, who has been a forward for the major part of his career, capable of playing in the midfield. However, Rooney has to work with the manager's instruction, which means adaptation is required of him, as he may end up playing perfectly in two positions.

"I don't want to go against Jose but I think Wayne can play any number of different positions," Southgate said. "The only thing I would say - I go back to one of the things we work on with the team - in and out of possession, tactical discipline, positional discipline [is important], whatever position you play. The players must understand that fully

Southgate, while attempting to offer a positive interpretation of Rooney's reduced standing at United, also acknowledged it is "not ideal" for the England captain to be struggling for playing time at club level.