Saturday 16 December 2017

Rooney not focused on goals record

Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney hopes to break England's goalscoring record against Switzerland at Wembley tonight but his focus is on Roy Hodgson's men sealing top spot in Euro 2016 qualifying Group E.

Manchester United forward Rooney equalled Bobby Charlton's England record of 49 goals by scoring in Saturday's 6-0 defeat of San Marino, a win which secured their place for France next summer.

And the 29-year-old England captain has loftier goal targets and is prepared to be patient if number 50 does not happen against the Swiss.

"It would be nice to do it at Wembley," Rooney said. "It would be nice to do it and move on from that and concentrate on the team again. That's the most important thing. To try to win the game and finish the group top.

"If it happens tomorrow then great. If not, it's not something that will concern me. The main concern is the game.

"I feel I've still got quite a lot of games left to play for England. If I was sat here saying 'I just want to get 50 goals' then I'd be lying.

"I'd be disappointed if I ended my England career on 50 goals. I want to kick on and try to score as many goals as I can. I've still got plenty of games to do that. Hopefully by the time I finish playing it will be more goals than 50."

Hodgson hopes Rooney reaches the landmark, having substituted his captain on Saturday. "It's going to happen. For Wayne's sake, it's no doubt the sooner the better," Hodgson said.

"I can afford to be patient but I'd like it to happen tomorrow night, because then we could have a few press conferences where Wayne's able to talk about other things, other than the pressure he feels under to score the 50th goal."

Meanwhile, midfielder Michael Carrick has withdrawn from the England squad tonight's game due to a calf injury and returned to Manchester United.

The 34-year-old, who has 33 caps but not featured for England in the last three matches, since March's draw in Italy, sustained the injury in training prior to the win at San Marino.

"It's a calf injury," Hodgson said. "We don't believe it's that serious. It's quite strange. It came out of nowhere almost.

"It was at the start of a warm-up in San Marino. He felt something very, very small, very, very slight.

"He had a preliminary type of scan with our doctors and they decided there's something there. It's up to Manchester United to look at it much more closely."

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