Belfast Telegraph

Rooney showing impresses Hodgson

Roy Hodgson revealed Wayne Rooney looked so good during the first half of England's 3-2 win over Scotland it persuaded him to give the Manchester United man an extended run-out.

After missing United's entire pre-season programme, Rooney started Wednesday night's match with David Moyes' blessing.

Although there were obvious signs of rustiness, Rooney sparkled at times and would have had a goal were it not for an incorrect offside decision against him.

Hodgson was so impressed he kept Rooney on for a large part of the second period too.

And he will now come into contention for the start of United's Premier League title defence at Swansea on Saturday.

"Our first thought was not to risk him for those additional minutes but he was looking so fit, chasing hard and working hard," said Hodgson.

"But it went well because he's fit and raring to go.

"Under normal circumstances, you wouldn't be expecting a player to be making his first appearance in mid-August against Scotland.

"But David Moyes and the people at United have been fantastic.

"They've almost welcomed the fact he wanted to play and I wanted to play him and he got 67 very valuable minutes."

For virtually the first time this summer though, Rooney was a secondary topic.

After goals from Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck had cancelled out efforts from James Morrison - whose opener came courtesy of a woeful Joe Hart error - and Kenny Miller, Rickie Lambert sealed victory in Roy of the Rovers fashion.

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