Hodgson hails versatile Rooney

Roy Hodgson would have no hesitation fielding Wayne Rooney on the left wing after his fine display against Ecuador.

Last Updated: 06/06/14 at 20:14 Post Comment

Wayne Rooney: Can play in a number of positions

Wayne Rooney: Can play in a number of positions

Roy Hodgson would have no hesitation fielding Wayne Rooney on the left wing again after his fine display in England's draw with Ecuador.

Much of the build-up to Wednesday's pre-World Cup friendly at Sun Life Stadium in Miami surrounded Hodgson's decision to play the Manchester United attacker on the flank.

It is a role Rooney has been uncomfortable filling in the past, saying on record five years ago that it restricted him in terms of expression.

The 28-year-old, though, played well in his unfamiliar position on the left wing, with his close-range tap-in capping an impressive overall display in the 2-2 draw with Ecuador.

"We've always known Wayne has that ability," Hodgson said. "He can play several positions.

"This left-side role was filled by Danny Welbeck against Peru and Wayne Rooney is a similar type of player.

"They are both forwards, both forward players, both goalscorers, so there was no reason for me ever to doubt Wayne could do well in that position.

"But I was pleased that he did well and I was pleased for him to score a goal, which is always important.

"His England goalscoring record is really quite incredible and Steven [Gerrard] and I, of course, hope he is going to continue that because you can only win games by scoring goals and we need our goalscorers in good form."

Asked if it was difficult to speak to Rooney about shunting him out wide, Hodgson added: "It wasn't difficult at all, in fact I didn't know that [he had previously spoken about playing there].

"In fact, I think quite often when I watch him play, he quite likes to drift out onto the left-hand side even if he is playing behind the striker or as a striker.

"This is obviously maybe something he said in the past in answer to questions, but certainly when I told him that was where I want him to play he didn't bat an eyelid and was more than happy.

"I believe he has even been quoted as saying that, so there's no reason for me to doubt it."


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