Rooney excited by England


Published: Wednesday 8th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Wayne Rooney is excited by the pace and energy possessed by England, saying the best teams in the world will struggle to stop Roy Hodgson’s side if they can replicate their “unbelievable” displays in training.

Just four months on from their miserable World Cup exit, the Three Lions continue their campaign to win back the public this week in Euro 2016 qualifiers against San Marino and Estonia.

Neither side should pose much threat to Roy Hodgson’s men, although talk in the build-up to Thursday’s home match against San Marino has revolved around maintaining the standards set in the impressive win in Switzerland.

England’s youth, speed and energy inspired Hodgson’s men to victory in Basle and it sounds like the best is yet to come, with Rooney taken aback by the level of performance in training.

“Even today in training, it was unbelievable the amount of energy we’ve got in the team,” he said ahead of the San Marino match.

“The speed we can move the ball at and open teams, it’s really exciting to be a part of.

“Particularly today – honestly, it was an unbelievable. If we can take that into games, then we will be a really hard team to stop.”

That intensity does not bode well for San Marino, ranked by FIFA as the world’s worst team alongside Bhutan.

England have scored an average 6.5 goals a game in their previous matches against the European minnows, so Thursday’s match looks the ideal opportunity for Rooney to add to his impressive goal haul.

The Manchester United captain is fourth in the all-time list and is just three goals shy of third-placed Jimmy Greaves’ total of 44.

“I haven’t specifically gone out of my way to look at the record, but it is there,” Rooney said. “There is no denying Jimmy Greaves is there.

“If I can overtake him this week or in the coming weeks or coming months, then that will be great.

“But it is not something I’m going into the game thinking ‘oh, I’ve got to beat Jimmy Greaves’ record to get closer to Bobby Charlton’.

“I am going in to try and do well for the team and if I can score goals, then great. The most important thing for us is to perform well and win the games.”

These matches are particularly important for Rooney given they will be his only competitive action in October.

A red card for foolishly kicking out at West Ham’s Stewart Downing brought with it a three-match ban, ruling him out for Manchester United until the derby at Manchester City on November 2.

“Listen, they are two qualifiers for England,” Rooney said. “I never go into them saying it will help me tick over for my club. I am here on international duty, I am focusing on England.

“Obviously then, after the two games, I’ve got two or three weeks without a game, but that’s down to myself to make sure I am working hard to make sure I am in the right condition for when I’m back.

“The training we do at United now is tough and I’ve no issues with any fitness side of my games.”

Published: Wednesday 8th October 2014 by The News Editor

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