Ahead of the crucial World Cup qualifying match with Montenegro, England defender Joleon Lescott feels that it will be hard to provoke the Manchester United striker, Wayne Rooney. Rooney was sent off in the last time he faced Montenegro after being provoked by some of the opposition players. Hence, there is a fear that the striker may repeat his actions once again, which would be a major catastrophe for England.

The national team comes into the match two points behind Montenegro in the group stages. As a result, they need a victory from this encounter in order to make sure that the prospect of qualifying automatically to the World Cup remains in their hands. As a result of that card received against Montenegro, Rooney was absent for the first matches of the Euro 2012. This proved to be a major reason for England crashing out of the competition.

However, Lescott feels that the 27-year-old has matured a lot during this period to know that he should control himself in such situations. Manchester City defender Lescott, who has not been a first-team regular with his club team, is expected to be one of the defenders for Roy Hodgson’s men against Montenegro. This is due to the defensive crisis being faced by the national team after injuries to key players.

“They might play on his temperament but Wayne has matured now. He is older and more experienced and I’m sure he will be professional. There will be a lot of expectation on Wayne but I don’t think he will let that faze him in any way. I don’t think he will be drawing on any negativity from previous performances, he will just be focused on producing the goods. The backlash could be just that – it could enhance his performance,” said Lescott.

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