Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Gerrard Praise for Super-Cool Rooney

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Gerrard Praise for Super-Cool Rooney

Article excerpt

Byline: John Curtis

E NGLAND skipper Steven Gerrard hailed the performance and discipline shown by Wayne Rooney in helping secure a vital point from the World Cup qualifier with Montenegro in Podgorica.

Rooney scored for the fourth successive qualifier in Tuesday night's 1-1 draw - the first England player to achieve that feat since David Beckham 10 years ago.

The Manchester United striker had been sent off on his last appearance in the stadium 17 months ago - but his behaviour ensured a repeat was never likely to happen.

Gerrard said: "Wayne is a fantastic player and a great goalscorer.

"If the lads in the team can create the service for Wayne, we know he will score goals. He also deserves credit for that goalscoring record.

"Hopefully, he will get more goals and fire us to the World Cup.

"I also thought his behaviour was magnificent.

He had been on the agenda in the press all week with people wondering how he was going to behave.

"I thought he handled himself magnificently and got us that important goal."

Rooney's goal was his 35th for his country and he is now only five behind fourth-placed Michael Owen in the alltime list of England goalscorers. However, his header failed to secure victory as Montenegro staged a secondhalf revival to equalise through substitute Dejan Damjanovic and remain two points clear of England.

Gerrard added: "At half-time we were very happy. We were in control and we played very well for 45 minutes.

"Then for some reason we stopped playing after the break and we let Montenegro back into the game.

"We finished the game really strongly but we are disappointed with the 30 minutes in the second half when we let them back into the game.

"We should have taken control. You need to get that second goal at this level otherwise you are inviting them onto you. …

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