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England boss plotting how to rein in Rooney

By Agence France-Presse in London | China Daily | Updated: 2016-11-18 07:38

Southgate says he'll investigate captain's revelry

After newspaper photographs showed England captain Wayne Rooney allegedly drunk, Gareth Southgate intends to review how his players spend their free time if he permanently appointed team manager.

British tabloid The Sun published pictures of Manchester United's Rooney, 31, looking the worse for wear after "gatecrashing" a wedding last weekend.

Southgate believes the claims merit investigation, but he is still waiting to hear from the Football Association about whether he has permanently landed the manager's job following a four-game caretaker stint.

"Over the last few years, the players have been allowed to go home during certain periods," Southgate said after England's 2-2 friendly draw with Spain at Wembley on Tuesday.

"They trained Saturday morning and they trained again on Sunday afternoon, and I gave them a period of time off in between. I'm not aware of anything else.

England boss plotting how to rein in Rooney

"There were lots of changes we made to routines. Some things we thought we should keep the same and I'll have to review it - or maybe I won't. Someone will review it."

Rooney missed the match against Spain due to a knee problem sustained during last week's 3-0 win over Scotland in World Cup qualifying.

He is said to have joined revelers celebrating a wedding at the team's hotel in Watford, north of London, on Saturday night and The Sun quoted witnesses who said he was "obviously drunk."

Rooney's spokesman said: "As he has always been, Wayne was happy to sign autographs, pose for photos and chat with guests.

"It is sad that one or two of them have now sought to turn Wayne's friendly good nature to their advantage."

A statement issued on Rooney's behalf to Britain's Press Association said: "Naturally Wayne is sorry that pictures taken with fans have been published today.

"Although it was a day off for the whole squad and staff, he fully recognizes that the images are inappropriate for someone in his position.

"Earlier today (Wednesday) Wayne spoke privately to both Gareth Southgate and Dan Ashworth to unreservedly apologize.

"He would like to further extend that apology to any young fans who have seen these pictures."

Earlier, an FA spokes - man said: "All England personnel have a responsibility to behave appropriately at all times.

"We will be reviewing our policy around free time while on international duty."

Following the Spain match, Southgate was adamant that Rooney had not been left out as a disciplinary measure.

"Wayne picked up an injury against Scotland on Friday," said Southgate. "He couldn't train on Sunday and that's it."

Rooney was recalled by Southgate for the win over Scotland, having been dropped for England's scoreless draw in Slovenia, after winning back his place as a starter with United.

But his status with both club and country continues to appear uncertain as concerns grow over his waning talent.

Southgate also faces uncertainty over his future, in the short term, as he waits to learn if the FA will offer him the England manager's job.

While he has taken pains not to tout himself for the position, he admits the experience of leading England for four games has given him a taste for managing at the elite level.

"I'm proud of what I've done and nobody will ever take that away from me," said Southgate, who was promoted from England Under-21s coach following Sam Allar - dyce's September departure.

"I am determined to manage at the highest level possible - club, country, home or abroad. Whatever it may be."

Southgate last managed in the Premier League in 2009, when he left Middlesbrough after three years in charge.

Asked if he harbored ambitions of working in the Premier League again, he said: "That is also not my decision. I want to manage big matches and I have proved I can do that."

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