"Wayne Rooney has said he put in extra work with England's backup players on Monday as he stepped up preparations for Thursday's crucial clash with Uruguay.
"At the weekend, Rooney admitted he was fighting for his place in England's starting XI after enduring a frustrating night as he played out of position on the left in the opening 2-1 defeat to Italy.
"The Manchester United player set up Daniel Sturridge for England's equaliser against Italy with a superb cross, but otherwise failed to make an impact.
"He put in extra training, including shooting practice, on Monday, and hit back at suggestions that any more could be read into it."
Rooney cut to the chase in a post on his official Facebook page:
"Somtimes wonder what the press are getting at.
"I said from the start I want to do everything I can to make sure I'm ready for these World Cup games, and as part of that I was doing extra training a week before the squad joined up.
"That's exactly what I did yesterday, my own extra training, because that's what I wanted to do."
His teammate, Danny Welbeck, vouched for him, according to ESPN FC:
"Rooney has been backed by teammate Danny Welbeck, who said he should not be dropped.
"He insisted that the Manchester United forward, who has scored 39 goals for his country, was a 'class player' and added: 'I think that, wherever he is playing on the pitch, he can make a massive impact.
"'I think all the forward players with England have the flexibility to move in and round, interchange positions.'"
"Frank Lampard expressed his dismay at what he perceives to be a 'fixation' and 'agenda' towards England teammate Wayne Rooney.
"The Manchester United striker has come under some scrutiny since England's 2-1 defeat against Italy in their World Cup opener last Saturday.
"Despite providing the assist for Daniel Sturridge to score with an inch-perfect cross and being played out of position on the left wing, Rooney was criticised after a largely indifferent display.
"Three Lions boss defended Rooney immediately after the game, but the 28-year-old has continued to be a hot topic of conversation among fans and the media.
"Lampard believes Hodgson's men can take heart from their performance against the Azzurri, but knows that it will count for nothing less unless they win against Uruguay on Thursday and then Costa Rica next week.
"'I thought we started very bright, some good attacking football, there were a lot of positives out of the game, the one negative was that we didn't win it,' he said.
"'Importantly now (we must) look forward, take those good points, try and keep them going and improve on them. We need to win games.
"'(The younger players have had) a big impact. From the minute the manager picked the squad I think we were all quite excited by the youth.
"'With England we've been crying out for some youthful exuberance and attacking play, and the lads have bought that. Not just in the game against Italy, but in training.'"
For his part, Hodgson told AFP's Talek Harris that Rooney is capable of handling the pressure:
"As far as I'm concerned, I was more than satisfied with Rooney's performance against Italy.
"But I'm afraid that Wayne, alongside Steven (Gerrard) and Frank Lampard, they are the three players with the World Cup and European experience.
"I think everyone understands that you can't expect the younger players who are just starting off to shoulder a heavy part of the burden.
"The good thing is that Wayne is more than happy with that. And if he plays tomorrow night I'm sure that you'll see that in his performance."