Gerrard backs Rooney for goals
23 Jun 2010 - 19:02:29
England captain Steven Gerrard has backed Wayne Rooney to find the goal trail in the knockout stages of the World Cup after the Manchester United star produced a much-improved display in the 1-0 win against Slovenia.
Jermain Defoe's first-half goal proved to be enough to send Fabio Capello's men into the last-16 of the tournament while at the same time sending Slovenia home.
Rooney, criticised for his below-par display in the goalless draw with Algeria and his post-match rant aimed at booing England fans, hit the woodwork against Slovenia before picking up an injury and being substituted.
Gerrard said after the narrow victory: "Wayne's had a bit of criticism over the last couple of games but today he worked his socks off and showed his quality.
"I know goals are around the corner for Wayne Rooney."
Of England's failure to convert a hatful of chances after taking the lead, the Liverpool star added: "When you need to win a game and you don't finish teams off you're going to be anxious at the end.
"But we thoroughly deserve to go through. I thought all the players that started the game and all the subs were terrific today.
"We need to find consistency now in the knockout stages. I think if we play like we did today and keep listening to the manager and keep delivering what he's asking, we've got the quality you need to win football matches, anything can happen.
"The mood in the dressing room is 100 per cent better. If we turn up and we play close to our potential we are a match for anyone."