Hodgson backs Rooney for big role at Euro 2016

London, March 28 (IANS) England national football team manager Roy Hodgson insisted that skipper Wayne Rooney is still a major part of his Euro 2016 plans, even though his side beat World Cup holders Germany 3-2 in a friendly without the striker.

Manchester United forward Rooney was sidelined by a knee injury as Hodgson’s team came from two goals down to win Saturday’s friendly 3-2 with the younger generation flourishing in his absence in Berlin.

Tottenham’s 19-year-old Dele Alli was man-of-the-match and his partnership with club-mate Harry Kane continued to develop as the forward, 22, scored the goal that started England’s comeback, BBC reported on Sunday.

“I have to repeat Wayne is our captain and he has captained the team extremely well in the past two years. He took us through a qualifying campaign where we had a complete success with 10 wins out out 10. It doesn’t please me too much that it is suggested now that the moment he is injured and doesn’t play he gets jettisoned in some way. He doesn’t deserve that,” Hodgson said.

Hodgson believes the 30-year-old, England’s record goal-scorer with 51 in 109 appearances, will not allow the new breed to rest on their laurels.

“When he comes back and is fit again he is going to be putting enormous pressure on these players, just like these players will be putting enormous pressure on him – and that is the situation we are looking forward to,” the coach said.

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