England captain Rooney wary of Switzerland defeat

England captain Wayne Rooney has admitted that it is important for his side not to be beaten in their first Euro 2016 qualifier in Switzerland on Monday, BBC Sport has reported.

The two sides who meet in Basel are expected to finish in the top two and thus qualify automatically for the competition proper, which will be held in France. However, Rooney is wary of handing the Swiss the initiative by allowing them to win the game at St. Jakob Park.

“It is important to try to win,” said the 28-year-old. But I think not to get beat and give Switzerland the upper hand from the first game is vital.”

The match also represents the start of the first major tournament campaign since the international retirements of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole, and now Rooney has called on the younger members of the squad to step up.

He added: “Frank, Steven and Ashley Cole have been massive players for us. Now the younger lads have to step up, it is as simple as that. We all understand there are big expectations playing for England. That starts on Monday.”

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