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Rooney ready to play without headband

Wayne Rooney believes he will not need to wear his protective headband any more.

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The striker has been wearing it to cover the gash on his forehead that he sustained when Manchester United and England team-mate Phil Jones caught him accidentally with his boot in training at the end of August.

But Rooney headed England into the lead in the 2-0 victory against Poland on Tuesday night without his headband, which had fallen off earlier, and he believes that helped him score.

“I went for a header just before I scored and it got knocked off, and then I chased back, so I didn't have time to go and get it,” Rooney said afterwards. “But it probably helped me in some ways that it was off when the ball came in, because I could direct it better.”

Rooney is optimistic that he will not need the headband when United host Southampton on Saturday.

He added: “I think it is the first time I have headed the ball without it on, and hopefully, come the weekend, I won't have to wear it.”

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