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Stoke's Crouch: Pressure will be off Man Utd's Rooney at Brazil 2014

Former England international Peter Crouch believes the stage is set for Wayne Rooney to shine at the 2014 World Cup.

The Manchester United has been England's main man at the past two tournaments which has seen the Three Lions rely heavily on his scoring prowess.

Rooney felt the weight of expectations on his shoulders at Germany 2006 and South Africa 2010 but this time around, Stoke City's Crouch feels the youthful exuberance of Roy Hodgson's squad will help lift the United ace on the world stage.

"They (the younger players) won't have respect for people and will just go out there and do what they know they can do," he told reporters.

"It will certainly benefit us and Wayne.

"The last two World Cups have all been about if Rooney stays fit then we are going to win it. The pressure was ridiculous on him.

"But now we have other players in the squad.

"I can't even remember Rooney being mentioned too much in the lead up to this World Cup.

"I think taking a bit of pressure off him and letting him enjoy his football can only be a good thing.

"What is good about the squad at the minute is there are a lot of young players and it is a bit different."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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