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Rooney wants England to get 'nasty'

22 Jun 2014 07:02:23

Rooney wants England to get 'nasty'

Wayne Rooney has told England to get nasty if they are to succeed in major tournaments.

The Manchester United forward believes England should learn from their more canny opponents and be more streetwise instead of merely pressing on with the game.

Rooney, who backed himself to play on with England for many years and break Sir Bobby Charlton's scoring record, also insisted Roy Hodgson is the right man to take England forward.

The 28-year-old says, however, that England must learn from their wily opponents who brought their World Cup campaign to an early end.

He said: "I think you look at teams who have won the tournament over previous years and you can see that nastiness in them. I think we need to get that in us. Maybe we're too honest.

"Uruguay the other night, they stopped the game, they committed I don't know how many fouls...clever fouls, really, to slow the game down. I think we're a bit honest in terms of the way we play.

"It's small margins but if those small things can amount to a big thing in terms of staying in the competition or going out, we need to learn that quickly and adapt to that."

There have been suggestions that England should have made more of a foul by Diego Godin on Daniel Sturridge when the Uruguay skipper was on a yellow card.

Rooney added: "Of course. You see players surrounding the referees - I'm not saying Uruguay did that - but I'm the same now. I want to win the game.

"I got kicked 10 times and I don't think there was a yellow card given to an opponent. We try and be honest, but maybe that's a fault of ours.

"You see a lot of the great teams, international and club teams, they have that [being streetwise]. I think that will come."

This was the Rooney's fifth major tournament with England, and he will still only be 32 when the next World Cup comes around. He now has 40 goals, only nine fewer than Sir Bobby Charlton's record of 49, and knows it is within his grasp.

"Sir Bobby's record is within touching distance," he admitted. "I'll be disappointed if I don't do it. I feel I have many years left. If I don't get the 10 goals required to beat the record, I'll have no one to blame but myself. It would be a great achievement.

"But this is about the team. Collectively, we're disappointed. I don't really want to be talking about my chances of breaking records when we're all hurting."

Rooney gave his unequivocal backing to Hodgson, despite England heading into their final match against Costa Rica on Tuesday with nothing but pride to play for.

It is the first time England have failed to get out of the group since 1958 but there is no appetite at the Football Association to change the manager, and Hodgson has a contract until after Euro 2016.

Rooney said: "Make no doubt about it, Roy is the man to take us forward. We appreciate what he has done for us.

"Roy is a fantastic manager and fantastic person in my eyes, and he's the right man to take us forward.

"He has, in my opinion, changed the way we have played over the last couple of years and I know the results have been disappointing in the last two games, but as a team we can feel we are getting better.

"I feel with the young lads in the squad, this will help them and hopefully in the future this will make us a better team."


PA

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