Capello to include Rooney
England manager hopeful striker's ban will be reduced
Last Updated: December 4, 2011 9:16am
Wayne Rooney: Set to discover on Thursday whether appeal is successful
Fabio Capello has declared that he will pick Wayne Rooney for Euro 2012 even if his three-match suspension is not reduced, but he hopes the striker's appeal will be successful.
England discovered on Friday that they had been pitted in Group D for next summer's finals alongside host nation Ukraine, Sweden and France.
Rooney is set to miss the entire group campaign after being hit with a three-match ban by UEFA following his red card in the final qualifier against Montenegro.
The Football Association lodged an appeal and Rooney will learn next Thursday whether his sentence will be cut.
Euro 2012 finals draw:
Czech Republic Group B
Portugal Group C
Republic of Ireland
Croatia Group D
The 26-year-old will leave Manchester United's team hotel in Basel after their Champions League match in midweek to take the short trip to Nyon, where he will plead his case and hope UEFA's disciplinary chiefs look kindly on England.
Capello would like to have Rooney available for England's third and final group game, against Ukraine in Donetsk on 19th June, but plans to take him regardless of the outcome of the appeal.
"The appeal will be really important and I hope Rooney will be okay for the third," said Capello.
"I hope they understand our lawyer, what Rooney says and what I will say at the committee."
Asked directly whether he would take his star man anyway, the Italian's response was brief.
"Yes," he said.
Being in Group D offers the advantage of starting the tournament last, offering the potential for three extra days of rest that could prove vital.
Capello was happy with the draw and believes England can perform well on the European stage.
"I am not more confident," he said.
"I have always got confidence when I start. After the draw, I have confidence also.
"But when we arrived together before the World Cup and played those friendly games, I understood something wasn't good.
"The young players playing now will be more important with their energy but this will be a really tough tournament.
"Every game will be difficult because the level of European football is really high. Every team can beat the others.
"But we will try."