Belfast Telegraph

Wayne Rooney targeting more than 50 goals

By Matt McGeehan

Wayne Rooney hopes to break England's goalscoring record against Switzerland at Wembley tonight but his focus is on Roy Hodgson's men sealing top spot in Euro 2016 qualifying Group E.

Manchester United forward Rooney equalled Sir Bobby Charlton's England record of 49 goals by scoring in Saturday's 6-0 defeat of San Marino, a win which secured their place for France next summer.

And the 29-year-old England captain has loftier goal targets and is prepared to be patient if number 50 does not happen against the Swiss.

"It would be nice to do it at Wembley," Rooney said.

"It would be nice to do it and move on from that and concentrate on the team again. That's the most important thing. To try to win the game tomorrow and finish the group top.

"If it happens tomorrow then great. If not, it's not something that will concern me. The main concern is the game.

"I feel I've still got quite a lot of games left to play for England. If I was sat here saying 'I just want to get 50 goals' then I'd be lying.

"I'd be disappointed if I ended my England career on 50 goals. I want to kick on and try to score as many goals as I can.

"I've still got plenty of games to do that. Hopefully by the time I finish playing it will be more goals than 50."

Hodgson hopes Rooney reaches the landmark, having substituted his captain on Saturday.

"It's going to happen. For Wayne's sake, it's no doubt the sooner the better," Hodgson said.

"I can afford to be patient but I'd like it to happen tomorrow night, because then we could have a few press conferences where Wayne's able to talk about other things, other than the pressure to score the 50th goal."

Hodgson lauded the selfless team man that is Rooney, who has reached his tally in 106 appearances, the same record as Charlton.

"Wayne's record is quite incredible," Hodgson added.

"Goodness knows how many caps he can get in the future and how many goals he'll score.

"The good thing with Wayne (is) I never get the impression watching Wayne Rooney play that he's playing to score goals and to grab headlines. He's trying to help his team win.

"If helping his team win means staying away from the penalty area or running back into his own penalty area to stop the other team scoring, that's what this man does. That's why we all appreciate him so much."

Belfast Telegraph