It’s now or never says Rooney

Rooney has been under pressure for his place
Rooney has been under pressure for his place
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Wayne Rooney admits Thursday’s clash with Uruguay is a do-or-die encounter for England after losing their World Cup opener.

Despite an encouraging performance from Roy Hodgson’s side, the 2-1 defeat to four-time champions Italy leaves them in desperate need of a victory in Sao Paulo.

Opponents Uruguay are in the same position following their shock 3-1 defeat to unfancied Costa Rica, meaning the loser at the Arena Corinthians almost certainly will not make it out of Group D.

It is a fate Rooney is confident the Three Lions will avoid, though, with the attacker sure there will be no mental hangover from the energy-sapping loss in Manaus.

“We have to stay positive,” the forward, now at his third World Cup, said. “We obviously need the three points now against Uruguay and we go into that game confident.

“We will take a few of the positives from the game and hopefully that can help us there.

“I think it will feel like a do-or-die game.

“We know if we lose the game we are more or less out, so we have to be positive and go at it in some ways the way we did.

“We went at Italy, I think we lost the two goals at a bad time, really, and we couldn’t quite recover from the second one. But we will certainly give it a good go.”

Rooney, like many others, believes England were unlucky to have lost to Italy.

Against Uruguay, the Three Lions’ defence will also need to up their game if they are to cope with Edinson Cavani, Diego Forlan and, fitness permitting, Luis Suarez.

“We know it is a game we can win,” Rooney said. “We know they have got some really good individual players and a good team –likewise we do.

“We will be positive, we will go in trying to get three points and hopefully we can.

“They have got good forwards – Forlan and Cavani as well. We will prepare for their best team and it will be a tough game, I am sure, but we are definitely confident.”