England head coach Roy Hodgson is sure that the pressure of trying to secure the England all-time goalscoring record is not having a negative effect on Wayne Rooney, reports The
Manchester United man Rooney netted a first half penalty as England ran out comfortable 5-0 winners over minnows San Marino in the European Championship qualifying match at Wembley, but he missed a host of other chances to improve his goals tally.
He currently lies fourth on England’s all-time top scorers list with 42 strikes for the national team behind Jimmy Greaves (44), Gary Lineker (48) and Sir Bobby Charlton (49).
But despite the misses, Hodgson refused to concede that the approaching milestone was having any effect on his captain.
“The record won’t play on Wayne’s mind,” Hodgson assured. “We’d like to think, with the way he is and the footballer he is, he’s got a good few years in him yet. There are plenty of games left. I don’t think we should put any pressure on him to reach targets early.”
The plethora of wasted opportunities included several when Rooney only had overworked San Marinese goalkeeper Aldo Simoncini to beat. But Hodgson preferred to focus on the striker’s positional play and awareness rather than the wasteful finishing.
“He got in a lot of times tonight. His runs were very good. He’s a bit disappointed with the chip. He thought that was on. I’m more than happy with him. It was another good captain’s performance. He was solid throughout,” said the England boss.
Rooney scored his first international goal on just his second England appearance, a 3-2 friendly defeat against Denmark at Old Trafford. He was named by Hodgson as national team captain in August after the previous skipper Steven Gerrard retired from international duty after England’s disappointing World Cup campaign in Brazil this summer.
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