WAYNE ROONEY has urged the England boo-boys to lay off axed skipper John Terry in tomorrow night’s friendly with Egypt at Wembley.
Terry is due to represent his country for the first time since being stripped of the captaincy by coach Fabio Capello following revelations about his private life.
The Chelsea skipper has been jeered by opposition fans since he was alleged to have had an affair with the former partner of England team-mate Wayne Bridge.
But with Bridge now ruling himself out of the World Cup after refusing to play in the same team as Terry, the England fans are likely to follow suit.
Terry’s Chelsea team-mates Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole have both been subject of boos from England fans in the past, and Rooney insists that any similar reaction to Terry this time round would be counter-productive to the team’s World Cup preparations.
“I hope the fans don't turn against John Terry,” said the Manchester United striker. “I have played in England teams when some of our own players have been booed. It has not been nice, not just for that one player, but for the whole team.
“Leading up to a World Cup you want the fans behind you. We need their full support. It is really important. I hope he gets a good reception on Wednesday.”
Although Terry is likely to be named in the starting line-up for the clash against the Africa Cup of Nations champions, the responsibility of leading the side will fall on Steven Gerrard, in the absence of the injured Rio Ferdinand. But even though he’s not donning the armband, Rooney insists Terry will be just as inspirational.
“John Terry is a leader for our team,” he added. “Although he hasn’t got the armband he is still a great player and a great leader. It has been no different since we have met up.”
Rooney, meanwhile, insists he should be fit to face the Egyptians tomorrow night after scans revealed no serious damage to the knee injury sustained in Sunday’s Carling Cup final victory over Aston Villa.
“Yes, it’s OK,” the 28-goal striker said. “I went for a scan and it’s just a bit of bruising. So, I’m having a bit of a rest day today, I should train on Tuesday and should play on Wednesday.”