• Euro 2012

Rooney: England not a one-man team

ESPN staff
June 17, 2012

Wayne Rooney is eager to make up for lost time at Euro 2012 but has warned England's expectant fans and players he can't win the tournament on his own.

Rooney will return for England in their crucial Group D decider against co-hosts Ukraine after missing the first two games through suspension but has made light of the huge pressure that will be on his shoulders.

In a swipe at former coach Fabio Capello, the Manchester United forward also said the squad are enjoying working under Roy Hodgson and that no instruction gets lost in translation.

Rooney thinks every single man in the squad must pull together if England are to finally make a big splash at the European Championships.

"I'm not going to win the Euros on my own, there's 23 players to chip in and help us go as far as we can," Rooney told a press conference.

"Obviously I'm delighted to be back. The lads have done great to put us in the position we're in now. Hopefully I can get an opportunity to play to help us get through the group. Since I joined up with the squad I took part in every training session and I feel good. I'm ready and excited to get back out on the pitch."

Rooney also praised Hodgson for the relaxed atmosphere he has fostered within the squad, claiming team spirit is better than it was at the World Cup two years ago.

"It helps everyone being English, there's no words lost in translation. We know what the manager wants, he trusts his players. Roy has come in and give us a lot of rest time and down time. We understand what he wants and I think it's good to relax and put football aside for even one afternoon and give your mind a rest."

Rooney hasn't scored at a major tournament since he burst on to the international scene at Euro 2004 and he again lamented the fact that England haven't landed a major title in 46 years.

He said: "England are a massive football team and nation. Not just over the last four tournaments but over the last 30 odd years we haven't fulfilled our potential. Hopefully it can happen this time."

Rooney has had to watch both of England's group games from the stands - an experience he did not enjoy - but with four goals scored in those matches, he will be expected to chip in with his share.

But he said: "I don't put that pressure on myself to be honest. There's 23 players in the squad and there's pressure on us all. It's great that we've scored a few goals and we've got the points we have.

"First of all it's great for the team we've got forwards that are scoring goals. It's great for me you know, great competition. You need to be at your best to play in the team and stay in the team."

Ukraine must beat England in Donetsk to progress to the last eight while Roy Hodgson's side can qualify with a draw. Despite the hostile atmosphere expected in the Donbass Arena, Rooney says he is targeting three points.

"The approach is the same as the first two, we go into the game wanting to win and wanting the three points. If we have to take a point we'll happily do that. It'll be a big challenge, they'll have the majority of the support in the stadium. We've been in this situation before and hopefully we can do it.

"We've been to a lot of stadiums around Europe and the world and had to deal with this atmosphere on a lot of occasions. Turkey was as hostile as you are going to get. We're big enough and experienced enough to know that."

Both Danny Welbeck and Andy Carroll got on the scoresheet against Sweden, with Hodgson facing a difficult decision as to who partners Rooney.

"They are different types of players, I know Danny well from club level, Andy has done really well, he's like an old fashioned No. 9. We mustn't forget Jermain [Defoe], he's one of the most natural goalscorers you are ever going to see, so we have four strikers going for those one or two spots."

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