England coach Neville slams 'masterplan revealed' claims

Photographers appeared to captured the former international’s notes during an open training session on Wednesday, with the retired star dismissing them as “innocuous”

Gary Neville has hit out at claims he inadvertently revealed England’s gameplan for their World Cup opener against Italy.

During the Three Lions’ open training session in Rio de Janeiro, photographers captured written instructions by the former international which hinted at a high-tempo, possession-based approach in Manuas.

The note read: “When the ball goes into control zone – team must make at least three passes before hitting the [centre forward].

“Once the ball is played into the end zone 2 [midfielders] try to get in and support for a 3 v 2.

“However, if the defending team win the ball back they counter straight away.”

But Neville has dismissed the notes as “innocuous”, instead directing attention to Wayne Rooney, insisting he is not after personal glory in Brazil.

“Media feel routine, innocuous training notes are the biggest story of the day. People surely are more interested in what Wazza said today,” the former Manchester United defender Tweeted.

“My curtains have been closed permanently for the duration of this tournament! Haha.”

England open their World Cup campaign in Manaus against Italy on Saturday evening, with striker Rooney insisting he still has a massive role to play in the side despite some commentators’ stated belief that he should be dropped.

And he also insisted team goals will always come before personal glory for him – unlike, in his opinion, Portugal star and former Manchester United team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo.

“I’m not a player who needs [a legacy],” he told The Guardian. “Cristiano Ronaldo … he has to have that. You admire him for that. You can see how he is. He wants his moments.

“I’m more about winning as a team.

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