Capello hails Rooney focus

08 September 2010 07:00

Fabio Capello revealed Wayne Rooney cut a happy figure in the England dressing room after he had put the negative headlines behind him in Basle.

Three days after allegations about his private life first surfaced in the newspapers, and after an assurance his mind was fully focused on the job, Rooney proved as good as his word to launch the Three Lions to an impressive 3-1 win over Switzerland. In firing home Glen Johnson's 10th-minute cross, Rooney was scoring for the first time in 12 England games and ending a full year without an international goal.

"I had seen he had been okay in training, now he plays an official game really well," said Capello.

- Switzerland 1-3 England: Report

"The players want to play without other things on their minds. They can focus on the game alone. He did that.

"At the end, he was really happy."

Capello appears to have found a position that can get the maximum from the Manchester United forward.

Playing in a deeper role, behind a lone striker - first Jermain Defoe, then Darren Bent after the Tottenham man was forced off with an ankle injury that Capello claimed "was not serious" - Rooney revelled in the space, just as he had done against Bulgaria at Wembley on Friday.

"Wayne Rooney played very well," said Capello. "(Mentally) he was okay and scoring the goal helped too.

"This position is good for him. It is easy for him to get into positions to shoot."

Source: PA