Rooney feels ready
Thursday, 03 September, 2009
Wayne Rooney says he has never felt more ready to play for England.
Wayne Rooney says he is enjoying playing for England more than ever and can’t wait to face Slovenia on Saturday and then perform in the big qualifier against Croatia four days later.
The Manchester United striker scored 10 goals in 2008-9 for the Three Lions and has blossomed under the guidance of Fabio Capello - so he is full of confidence ahead of a Wembley double header.
He said:“I am settled. I know where I am playing and what position I am playing in. I am enjoying playing for England more than ever. There is a real spirit amongst the team and I am really enjoying it.
“We have had some great training sessions so far too - the training here has been so sharp and quick. It is important to get those sessions in. Saturday obviously gives the manager a chance to look at different things if he wants to and we have to make sure we are ready for the game on Wednesday.”
Everyone in the country knows England can qualify for the World Cup Finals if they beat Croatia at Wembley next week but Rooney insists the whole team have to remain focused and will not take Saturday's friendly lightly after being held to a 2-2 draw in Amsterdam by Holland last month.
He said: “We are concentrating on Slovenia for the minute. I think you can expect a more intense performance from us than the one against Holland. The first-half of that match we were a bit slow and could have played a lot better. But I thought we played quite well in the second-half and thankfully we got back into the game and in the end I thought we were unlucky not to win.
“Now the Slovenia game is a good preparation to get us ready for Croatia because Croatia is a massive game. We would love to get three points against them and qualify for the World Cup.”
Memories of England’s last home match against Croatia, when they lost 3-2 to miss out on the Euro 2008 Finals, will be hard to forget. But Rooney is confident, especially after Capello’s men won 4-1 in Zagreb during the current qualifying campaign, that next week's match will have a happier ending.
“It was a great night for us to beat Croatia 4-1 in Zagreb and a great win for us,” said Rooney, who scored in that game with Theo Walcott adding a hat-trick.
“Now it is very important for us to qualify next week. You want to try and win the game. If we can turn it round at Wembley and beat them to qualify for the World Cup, it would be a sweet moment for us.”
Tickets for the Slovenia game are still available, and can be bought online by clicking here.