Rooney’s delight at captain’s role

New England skipper Wayne Rooney
New England skipper Wayne Rooney
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Wayne Rooney says he will consult outgoing skipper Steven Gerrard after being named as the new England captain.

The 28-year-old Manchester United skipper got the nod ahead of Chelsea’s Gary Cahill and Manchester City’s Joe Hart to become the successor to Gerrard, who retired from international football after the World Cup.

Rooney, who has worn the England armband on two previous occasions, will lead a new-look England squad featuring four uncapped players into the upcoming matches against Norway and Switzerland.

“Wayne is an obvious choice for his honesty, commitment to the cause, his experience, the fact he has already captained England in the past,” England boss Roy Hodgson said.

“Now of course he’s got that responsibility at Manchester United as well.

“All those factors weighed into my thought process and I’m pleased to be able to say I’ve been able to offer it to him.

“I had a long conversation with him and he’s prepared to accept the pressures the England captaincy brings.”

Rooney is relishing the task awaiting him.

“To be named as England captain is a dream come true for me personally and of course my family,” Rooney said.

“It is something that I will take massive pride in doing.

“As a kid I always loved watching a big England game on the television.

“Back then I had a burning ambition to play for my country. To be appointed captain is beyond my wildest dreams.

“I would obviously like to thank Roy and the coaching staff for having the belief and confidence in me to do the job.”

Rooney was backed for the job by predecessor Gerrard.

“I intend to speak with Steven about different aspects of the role,” Rooney said.

“We had a great relationship from the moment we played together for our country and right up to our final game in Brazil.

“I am sure if ever I need to seek his advice he will be there to help.”

Rooney has had disciplinary problems in the past but Hodgson said he had not concerned himself with those issues.

“I’ve got to judge him on the two years I’ve been with him,” Hodgson said. “It’s not for me to look back too much into the past and whatever misdemeanours the player may have had.

“In the two years with me I’ve had no reason whatsoever to question anything about his character or desire to play for his country or his wholehearted willingness to offer himself in every situation.

“I’m not concerned about anything else but he has that baggage with him and he will have to accept that as an added part of the pressure. You can’t draw a line under the past.”