'What's gone is gone, let's focus on the future' says Rooney

Tuesday 31 Mar 2015
Wayne Rooney said the squad has moved on from the World Cup disappointment

Wayne Rooney says England’s encounter with Italy in Turin on Tuesday night is not about making amends for their defeat at the World Cup – as they are just focused on the future.

The Azzurri beat Roy Hodgson’s side in the pair's opening game in Brazil last summer, but even though it was less than a year ago both teams will be much changed.

Italy v England

International Match
7.45pm (BST), Tuesday 31 March 2015
Juventus Stadium, Turin
Live on ITV

“The World Cup has been and gone, we have to move on,” said the Manchester United forward. 

“It's always disappointing losing a game, so this is a big game against Italy and we want to go out there and try and win. 

It'll be a good test. We've had a few since the World Cup which we've come through. This will be another one. We'll have to be at our best."

The three scorers from that meeting in Manaus – Claudio Marchisio, Mario Balotelli and Daniel Sturridge – are not in Hodgson or Antonio Conte’s squads.

Meanwhile, Italian lynchpin Andrea Pirlo is out injured and England’s talisman Steven Gerrard has since retired.

Nonetheless, the Three Lions skipper says the game at Juventus Stadium is a chance for players to prove themselves in a football obsessed country, with Euro 2016 the ultimate aim.

“We've changed the shape a bit. I think we're playing with a lot more energy, which is suiting the team," he added.

“We use that energy in the right areas to help us get goals and tire teams.” 

Wayne Rooney was speaking ahead of England's game against Italy in Turin

He continued: “Italy is a passionate country who love their football, probably the closest in Europe to South American teams. 

“They'll do anything to stop you. They're tough to play against, organised, make it as difficult to play against as possible. They're the best in Europe at doing that.”

Hodgson confirmed on Monday night that Rooney and new boy Harry Kane will be starting together in Turin – a full debut for the in-form Tottenham striker. 

It could be the start of a new attacking relationship for England. With Rooney on a run of five goals in the past five games and Kane netting on his senior bow against Lithuania on Friday, both players are in confident mood.

Having played alongside ten different forwards since making his international debut in 2003, Rooney believes he can adapt to the role necessary to link up with the 21-year-old. 

Wayne Rooney celebrates his strike against Lithuania

“Over the years I've played up front with a lot of different players with different qualities. I've really adapted to the striker I've played with,” added Rooney. 

“With Michael Owen I was coming deep, leaving Michael to run in behind. With Emile Heskey I was trying to stay close, he's a big lad who can hold the ball up and I could get it off him.

“At club level I've played with a lot, too. It depends on what the manager wants me to do – to be the one running behind or the one coming deep. 

“Whoever I've played with, I've stuck to instructions and tried to do the best job I can.”

He continued: “You've got different types of strikers. I've seen the comparisons out there, but Harry is his own player. 

“He's good in the air, can shoot with both feet. He's taking the ball and running at players which is great to see."

By Jamie Bradbury FA Editor in Turin