Watford (England): Wayne Rooney hopes to be England’s key player at the World Cup, but he also knows a slump in form could see coach Fabio Capello drop him without hesitation.

Rooney only has to reflect on how Manchester United strike partner Michael Owen has fallen out of favour despite once being one of the first names on the England team sheet under Capello’s predecessors.

“He’s probably the first England manager I have played under where you know if you don’t play well there’s a chance you are not going to be in the starting XI the next game,” Rooney told reporters at the England team hotel north of London.

“He keeps all the players on their toes. We know we have to play well every game. He’s definitely helped me more than any other England manager.”

“He is a fearsome man, strong, passionate and wants to win.”Rooney produced the goals last season to prove his worth to Capello’s World Cup 2010 plans, scoring 10 times the highest season total for an England player since Gary Lineker in 1990-91.

“(Capello) said to me get in front of the goal more,” the 23-year-old Rooney said ahead of Saturday’s friendly against Slovenia.

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