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Welbeck eases Hodgson pressure

European Championship Sep 9, 2014
Read
 Posted by Kevin Palmer
Sep 3, 2014

Wayne Rooney says England could have been better in Norway friendly

Newly appointed England captain Wayne Rooney says he's now mature enough to inspire the next generation.

Newly installed England captain Wayne Rooney admitted his team "all could have done better" as they sealed a less-than-convincing 1-0 victory against Norway at Wembley.

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A muted performance on the pitch was matched by a modest crowd off it, with 40,181 fans in attendance as a 68th minute penalty from Rooney gave England the win ahead of their Euro 2016 qualifier versus Switzerland next Monday.

Yet the Manchester United striker admitted he and his England colleagues had turned in a below par display, as he suggested a victory was all that mattered.

"I thought I could have done better. I think we all could have done better," Rooney told ITV Sport. "But this was the first game after the World Cup and it was important that we got the victory going into the game on Monday.

"I think in the first half we moved the ball quite well. They made it difficult for us, sat back, but we created a few opportunities.

England's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain battles for a ball with Norway's Martin Linnes in the teams' international friendly at Wembley stadium.

"Second half we started fairly sloppy and that was disappointing because we wanted to go out and take the game to them, but we got the win in the end.

"There were a lot of young players in that team. The important thing was to get the victory."

- Rooney vs. Milner: Whose pass was worse against Norway?
- Report: England 1-0 Norway
- Prem transfers: Club-by-club assessments

Rooney took his international goal tally to 41 with his winning spot kick, as he admitted he had already decided which way to place a spot kick long before man of the match Raheem Sterling gave him the chance to execute his plan.

"It is always nervous taking a penalty, but I was confident I would score," said the striker, who is now just eight goals behind Sir Bobby Charlton in England's all-time record scoring list. "I knew which corner I was going to before the game if we got a penalty and I put my boot through it. Thankfully it went in."

Rooney had complimentary words for Liverpool winger Sterling, as he suggested he enjoyed playing with the 19-year-old attacking starlet.

"He is a threat," added Rooney. "He takes the ball, he runs at people. It doesn't always come off, but he is an exciting player and makes things happen. He is great to play with."

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