Rooney: England can impress

Wayne Rooney insists England have the potential to perform well at the World Cup - provided they can finish the job and qualify.

Last Updated: 12/10/13 at 23:23 Post Comment

Wayne Rooney: 'We have got some very exciting players'

Wayne Rooney: 'We have got some very exciting players'

Wayne Rooney insists England have the potential to perform well at the World Cup - provided they can finish the job and qualify on Tuesday night.

After a nervy first half, England strolled to a relatively comfortable 4-1 win over Montenegro on Friday.

The task that now lies in front of the Three Lions is a simple one - win against Poland next week and qualification is assured.

If England get to the finals, there are few people who actually believe they can reach the latter stages.

FA chairman Greg Dyke has dismissed the idea that England could win the competition, and he has also highlighted his concerns over the dwindling number of home-grown players getting regular first-team football.

But after watching 22-year-old Andros Townsend make a stunning debut at Wembley, Rooney is full of optimism.

"We have to reach the finals first, but I am sure once we do that the manager will have a few games to prepare for the tournament," the Manchester United striker said.

"We have got some very exciting players, young exciting players.

"I think all the talk about 'there's not enough good English players' - well, we have got six, seven or eight young players.

"Andros did great, he's an exciting player with a great future and then you have (Danny) Welbeck, (Daniel) Sturridge, (Phil) Jones, (Chris) Smalling, (Jack) Wilshere, (Alex) Oxlade-Chamberlain, (Theo) Walcott - the players we have got there, there's some talent.

"So, we are happy with the squad we have got and are looking forward to the future."

Confidence is something that Rooney clearly does not lack at the moment.

The 27-year-old has had a roller coaster of a year so far, falling out with Sir Alex Ferguson after being played out of position and then appearing to agitate for a move away from Old Trafford.

Rooney eventually agreed to stay at the Premier League champions and he has started to hit top form again despite a spell on the sidelines that came when he suffered a nasty cut to his forehead in training.

Rooney, who now wears a protective band to cover the visible scar left by Phil Jones' studs, has scored six in 10 for club and country this term.

His strike against Montenegro made him England's all-time top scorer in competitive matches, knocking Michael Owen off his perch.

Surprisingly, Rooney has never scored for England in two World Cup campaigns and that is something he wants to put right next summer.

"It was a vital goal and I'm sure Michael won't be too pleased," Rooney said with a smile.

"It would be great to try and get a goal to get us there (on Tuesday) and then obviously score goals in the World Cup because I've not done that yet."

Rooney's calmly-converted finish was his 37th goal for England, putting him just 12 behind Sir Bobby Charlton in the nation's all-time top scorers' list.

He could have had another had he not selflessly allowed Daniel Sturridge to convert an injury-time penalty to round off the win against the Montenegrins.

It would have been hard to imagine Rooney doing such a thing a few years ago, but he was happy to share the goals around.

"I was going to take it and then I asked (Sturridge) if he wanted to take it," the former Everton man said.

"It was good for him, it's good for the team and it shows that the team spirit within the squad is great.

"Daniel hasn't played that many games for England; for him to get another goal will give him a boost. Hopefully he will get another one on Tuesday."

With Ukraine playing San Marino on Tuesday, England must beat Poland to be sure of their place in the finals, and Rooney insists the squad must not believe the job is done despite Friday's win.

"It's a massive game," Rooney added.

"Poland are probably a better team at the moment than Montenegro.

"I think they are much more dangerous on the counter-attacks and we will have to prepare well for that.

"But if we perform like we did against Montenegro then we will be okay."


New Sky Bet customers: Claim free £5 bet every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

really enjoyed this. Thanks F365 for another year of work avoidance - happy Christmas.

megabrow (cufc)
Our Person Of The Year: Alan Pardew

I

m no Sam Fan and this article sums him up beautifully. I always like to imagine that when he watches anything on TV and hears clapping, he stands up and aknowledges the applause, thinking its for him!

cozens
Football Managers On TV: Sam Allardyce

N

ah, Fergie is just having another pop at Rooney. He just wants to put him down whenever he gets a chance. Rooney is by far the best English player. Carrick is not far behind, mind. However, by elevating Carrick like that, Sir is having a dig at Wayne. Fergie is well-known for mind games like that. Good to see he's still feisty.

timbo
Van Gaal will thrive - Ferguson

Footer 365

Chelsea striker Fernando Torres to make permanent move to AC Milan ahead of Atletico Madrid return

Fernando Torres will join Milan permanently on January 5 ahead of his expected return to Atletico Madrid.

Neil Warnock sacked by Crystal Palace after run of one win in 12 games

Neil Warnock has been sacked as manager of Crystal Palace, with Keith Millen placed in charge for Sunday's trip to QPR.

Rooney Enjoying 'Scholes' Role

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney is revelling in his position as an attacking central midfielder, after he scored twice in the 3-1 victory over Newcastle at Old Trafford on Boxing Day.

Mail Box

Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

Hang On, Rafa's Success Is No Fluke...

The afternoon mailbox kicks the morning mailbox's arse after claims that Rafa Benitez has fluked his success. Plus, big talk about Liverpool's progress and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property