Firstly, this match is a good game for us to be able to utilise the squad and find out a bit more about some of the players we have.
With an important game coming up against Croatia in the Nations League in three days’ time, we want to balance that with looking at some different things while also giving game time to more members of the squad.
- Wayne Rooney Foundation International
- 8pm, Thursday 15 November 2018
- Wembley Stadium connected by EE
- Live on Sky Sports
It also gives us the opportunity to properly mark Wayne Rooney’s England career. When it was first proposed to me, as a manager, it was something I was keen to do.
I don’t think we’ve always been very good at honouring our former players and since I’ve been in charge, we’ve tried to invite people to speak to the team. We’ve had the likes of John Barnes and Alan Shearer who have come in to do this and we’ve also invited former players to present first shirts to any debutants and I know what that’s meant to them.
You don’t get a chance to do these things very often, so this is an opportunity for everyone to pay tribute to someone who is not only our record outfield player in terms of caps but also our record goalscorer, which is an incredible achievement.
We face the USA at a time when it appears they are, like us, rebuilding their senior squad with both countries bringing younger players into their group. While we are building on the back of our own World Cup campaign this summer, unfortunately they didn’t have the opportunity to go to the Finals this year.
But they’ll now be trying to get their team ready for the next one and it’s an opportunity for their younger players, who I’m sure will relish coming to play at Wembley.
For me, the last two months have been really positive. We want that to continue in November, both on Thursday and against Croatia on Sunday, to make sure we end an exciting year for the England team really well.
We know that we have to prove ourselves every time we go on the pitch and we’ve still got to keep building. We’re up to fifth in the world rankings now but we want to be the number one team and we’re working hard to get there.
Tickets for Thursday's game are still available, but Sunday's match with Croatia has sold out.GET USA TICKETS