Belfast Telegraph

Wayne Rooney made it three and easy for me, says Jermain Defoe

England's hat-trick hero Jermain Defoe hailed his partnership with Wayne Rooney after the pair teamed up profitably in last night's 4-0 win over Bulgaria in the opening Euro 2012 qualifier at Wembley.

The Tottenham striker lifted the 73,000 crowd by netting after only three minutes and added a second just after the hour mark.

Substitute Adam Johnson made sure of the points in the 83rd minute before Defoe completed his treble four minutes from time. Wayne Rooney helped to set up all four goals.

And Defoe said: “I'm delighted with the performance, not just the goals, but the way we played and pressed in the first half.”

The striker said of his partnership with Rooney: “Obviously when you play with a partner it takes a bit of time to gel, but Wazza (Rooney) is a great player and technically gifted. If I make the runs he'll find me and he did tonight.

“When I got the second goal he said to me ‘keep going and you'll get the third' and it's always nice when you are playing with a partner and he wants you to get the hat-trick. It's good,” he added.

Despite the one-sided victory, Defoe, who expects to be fit for Tuesday's clash with Switzerland, had a word of praise for rookie goalkeeper Joe Hart.

“Especially in the second-half he played well, there was a one-on-one and he made a great save. He's been like that all season for his club,” said Defoe.

“What a prospect he is.”

England boss Fabio Capello said: “We were really focused on the game, I'm really happy.

“Rooney and Defoe are fantastic players, four assists from Rooney and three goals from Defoe.

“They were really good in every moment during the game.

“I'm really happy with the performance of the two forwards — but also the other players.”

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