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Wayne Rooney believes England will step things up

By Jim Van Wuk

Captain Wayne Rooney admits the hard work for England starts again now as they step up preparations for next week's opening Euro 2016 qualifier in Switzerland.

Roy Hodgson's young side – with five of the starting XI under 22 – laboured through a 1-0 victory over Norway at a half-empty Wembley on Wednesday night as England began life after their World Cup disaster.

Much was made of the lacklustre performance, which only generated two shots on target, one being Rooney's 68th minute penalty.

However, the Manchester United forward, who took the armband for the first time following Steven Gerrard's international retirement, wants focus to quickly turn to the Group E clash in Basel on Monday night.

"It was important to get the victory, but now we have to move on from here," said Rooney.

"We know we have to be better against the Swiss if we are going to get the victory there.

"We will work hard now and be ready, hopefully we can come back with a victory."

The friendly against Norway attracted a record low attendance of 40,181, the smallest number to watch an England match at Wembley since it was re-built.

Rooney accepts starting out on the new journey just some 10 weeks on from exiting in Brazil at the group stage was always going to be a difficult step on and off the field.

"We are grateful for the fans who were at Wembley to support us," added Rooney.

"We understand that after the World Cup, it is difficult for everyone, the players and the fans, so we have to make sure we do well in the Euro 2016 qualification campaign to make those fans believe again and hopefully we can do that on Monday night."

Belfast Telegraph


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