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European Qualifiers Group E

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Monday, 08 September 2014, 19:45

European Qualifiers Group E

World Cup misery drives Rooney

New captain Wayne Rooney is upbeat about England's direction and is desperate to start banishing the memories of the World Cup with a good performance in Wednesday's friendly with Norway.

Last Updated: 02/09/14 at 16:53 Post Comment

Wayne Rooney: Hoping for better times in an England short

Wayne Rooney: Hoping for better times in an England short

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It has been three months since England's miserable campaign in Brazil and, despite expectations of a poor turn-out at Wembley, there is a mood of optimism in the camp with an opportunity for manager Roy Hodgson to hand first caps to a number of players.

Hodgson stated that Jack Colback was unavailable for the clash with a minor injury and that there would be no new debutants in the starting line-up.

With England playing in Switzerland in their first European Qualifier on Monday before their next competitive game at Wembley against San Marino in October, Rooney is fired up for improvements on the international stage.

The new skipper said: "It's exciting times. The Italy game and the Uruguay game [at the World Cup] were really disappointing results but I thought we did well in both games. We showed some great signs of great attacking football and the lads have hopefully gained some vital experience and we can go out and play some attractive football.

"It's a great honour to captain my country and I want to be a successful captain. I'm sure all the team want that, we're working hard to try and get there and tomorrow is the start of a new chapter.

"Last summer we were all disappointed, we went in with high hopes, we were expecting better but we have to move on, there is no point looking back. We've had retirements but young players coming in and it's exciting.

"I will be myself in the captain's role. I am always very demanding of myself in what I expect. Playing for your country, every player has to give their all. I have worked under some fantastic captains in the past and I've watched how they have adapted to the role. I'll try and take the qualities they have and add my own ingredients in."

Hodgson expressed his delight at the mood among his England squad as he looks to continue building for the future without Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.

He said: "We've only been together since Sunday evening but we seem to have crammed an awful lot in with our meetings and training sessions and I get the feeling the players can't wait to kick off this new campaign.

"We would like to get that feel-good factor but we are still aware the two-year journey is a longish one and will see a lot of changes."

Despite reports of England fans staying away from the Norwegian fixture, Rooney is convinced the team can turn things around. 

He added: "I still think the crowd is going to be good, around about 40,000, and if you look round Europe it's still one of the highest there is.

"Obviously it is a bit lower than normal but we expected that, the World Cup was disappointing and it's a backlash from that. We want to make sure the crowd know we are giving everything we can to win the game tomorrow and on Monday [the first European Qualifier against Switzerland]."

If we beat Norway tonight in this crunch friendly match, I am sure we are all agreed that it will more than make up for the underperformance at the World Cup. The England team is rubbish. I have totally lost interest. England supporting for me, has always been very much secondary to following Stoke. The tournaments are always an opportunityto watch some of the World teams play great football and to watch England and just hope we fluke a result. I've given up on even that now.
- magicfuller

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