ENGLAND boss Roy Hodgson has admitted it was too much to demand Wayne Rooney would win Euro 2012 on his own -- but denied the Manchester United forward was not fit enough to do himself justice.
Hodgson invested a huge amount of faith in Rooney. He never wavered in his belief the 26-year-old would be a key figure in his plans, even though Rooney was condemned to miss the first two group games as he served a two-match ban following his red card against Montenegro last October.
Hodgson even gave Rooney additional time off prior to the tournament in order to recover from a minor injury he had carried through the last weeks of United's Premier League title challenge.
In the end though, Rooney failed to do himself justice.
He looked off the pace on his return against Ukraine and then was also a peripheral figure on Sunday as England crashed out of the tournament, beaten on penalties by Italy.
"We put a lot of expectations on him," said Hodgson.
"When he missed the first two games we were all believing that what we needed to do was get to the third game and Wayne Rooney will win us the championships. That maybe was too much to ask of him. He certainly tried very hard, but he didn't have his best game. I think he would admit that."
Question marks have been raised over the wisdom of Rooney's post-season trip to Las Vegas, where he was pictured in a casino with former United team-mate Wes Brown. But Hodgson insisted fitness was never an issue.
"We haven't noticed anything with his fitness levels," said Hodgson.
"We've monitored his fitness levels and his running stats were very good.
"Maybe you thought he could have played better but it's not necessarily related to this."