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Published: 10:54 | 7/10/16

Lingard defends Rooney

Jesse Lingard has defended Manchester United and England team-mate Wayne Rooney following the recent criticism of his performances.

Rooney has lost his place in the United starting line-up in recent weeks and there have been calls for him to be dropped by interim England manager Gareth Southgate for the upcoming games against Malta and Slovenia.

Despite scoring just one goal in 11 games for club and country this season, Rooney is set to be retained as captain and Lingard believes the criticism of England's record goalscorer is unfair, especially in light of all that he has achieved in his career.

"I think that, really, because (of what he's achieved), no-one can say anything ([bad) about him," Lingard said. "He's determined to get back and hopefully he can do that. I think he's very determined.

"Even though he hasn't been playing for the club, he's still supporting us and he's going to get back into the fold. He's remained captain here, which is great, and that will be great for his confidence as well."

Rooney is working hard to get back into the United starting XI and Lingard has praised the way in which he has accepted his current predicament.

"I've known Wayne for a long time and he's very determined to play. He's got a love for the game which hasn't left him. He's been a top professional on and off the field for us and we look up to him as well," he said.

"For the club, he's a great leader for us - as young lads, we can speak to him whenever we want and he always helps the young lads, which is good. He's been doing it now for a couple of years."

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