Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

I Cannot Win It on My Own - Rooney

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

I Cannot Win It on My Own - Rooney

Article excerpt

Byline: Ben Rumsby

WAYNE Rooney prepared to make his European Championship entrance but warned: "I'm not going to win the Euros on my own."

Rooney has been forced to watch England's opening two Group D games of the tournament from the sidelines while serving a suspension, but manager Roy Hodgson has all but confirmed the nation's talisman will start tomorrow's decisive match against Ukraine.

With Rooney's team-mates having already secured four points in his absence, expectations will be raised that the Manchester United star could lead his country to something better than a quarter-final berth.

But he said yesterday: "I don't put that pressure on myself, to be honest.

"There are 23 players in the squad and there's pressure on us all. I'm not going to win the Euros on my own."

England need only a draw in Donetsk to reach the knockout stage, and Rooney added: "Hopefully, I get an opportunity to play and try to shine and help us get through the group."

Considering Rooney's record in tournaments since he took Euro 2004 by storm as a rookie teenager, the 26-year-old actually has a lot to prove on the biggest stage.

Despite having not played 90 minutes for more than a month, he confirmed he was fully fit, and asked if now could be the time for him to deliver, he said: "I hope so. I think England are a massive football team, a massive football nation.

"Not just over the last four tournaments but maybe over the last 30-odd years, we haven't fulfilled that potential.

Rooney has had plenty of time to cast his eye over those players in the past week thanks to his moment of madness in October's final qualifier in Montenegro.

The forward was seen kicking virtually every ball from the stands against France and Sweden, and he said: "It's more difficult than playing.

"When you're playing, you can always do something to try and change the game. …

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