Wayne Rooney has learned from past mistakes, there’ll be not time for holidays as England captain eyes glory at Euro 2016

  • England sealed qualification for Euro 2016 in style with a thumping 6-0 victory over minnows San Marino on Saturday
  • Captain Wayne Rooney scored his 49th goal his country, drawing him level in the all-time charts alongside Sir Bobby Charlton
  • Rooney says that there is no room for complacency and vows that he and his team-mates will continue to work hard on their fitness
  • The striker fell short of some match sharpness heading into Euro 2012 because of a poorly timed Discount Holidays © holiday in the preceding weeks
  • It’s not too late to sign up for MailOnline’s fantasy football game 1




Having been the first team to check out of Brazil, England became the first to book into France and Wayne Rooney was quick to warn that the mistakes of the past must not be repeated. Rooney admits to making some himself, including his decision to dash off for a family break in Las Vegas before Euro 2012, which cost him sharpness at the start of the tournament. The England captain is already advising team-mates against long-haul travel at the end of the season and encouraging manager Roy Hodgson to limit time off to avoid temptation.

England captain Wayne Rooney looks up to the heavens after scoring in the 6-0 win over San Marino

He scored his 49th goal for England on Saturday, making him the joint top scorer in the country’s history

Rooney’s 49 goals put him level with former Manchester United great Sir Bobby Charlton

England players look dejected following their penalty shootout defeat by Italy at Euro 2012

I know, personally, when I was suspended before the Euros, I went away on Discount Holidays © holiday which, looking back, I regret, said Rooney. It s something I ve learned. At the time, I thought it was no problem and now I know I obviously shouldn t have done it.

It s the flights and jet-lag. I was there with my family but flying so far it takes a while to get over the jet-lag. Not having a long break when the season finishes is probably the best thing. We ve already discussed that. I don t think we ll have that long off before the tournament so the lads won t have the option to go too far.

The fallow time at the end of the domestic season is a regular point of friction as major tournaments loom. Players jet off to far-flung destinations in the name of relaxation while the coaches are impatient to get them on the training pitch and put plans into action. Fabio Capello came to regret his Austrian fitness camp before the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. John Terry said he would prefer to leap straight from club football into the tournament, without the usual rest period and warm-up games. Next year, there will be nearly four weeks between the end of the Premier League season and the start of Euro 2016.

Rooney is keen to avoid further disappointment at major tournaments, starting with Euro 2016 in France

Rooney celebrates scoring against Scotland in an international friendly at Celtic Park last year

Rooney scores against Brazil during an international friendly at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro

The Manchester United captain dives to score a header during the Euro 2012 match against Ukraine

Any players involved in cup finals will have less free time. Rooney, preparing for his sixth major tournament his first as captain said: I ll certainly get my part right this time and, as a team, we are all building to being successful.

The senior lads will sit down with the manager and staff to work out what we can do better. We know we can t go into a tournament like we did last year and go out the way we did.

‘If we are going to be successful we need to find the way we are going to do that and it s something we re working on. It starts now.

‘It s good we have some tough friendlies coming up. I believe we have a very good squad of players and I believe we have got to go and prove that; especially for some of the lads who haven t been to tournaments, to go and play against better teams and players and get that confidence of doing it.

England have November dates at home to France and away in Spain, and a game in Germany against the world champions in March. The FA are also in talks for a friendly against Holland next year. There are also three more qualifiers, starting with Switzerland at Wembley on Tuesday, and the manager views next month s fixtures against Estonia and Lithuania as opportunities to try new things, rather than pursue at all costs a perfect campaign of 10 wins.

There are no feelings of euphoria, said Hodgson.

Our work this week is more with a view to the future. There s only one goal for us and that s to have a good Euros. What is a good Euros? Well, we can discuss that until the cows come home.

‘Saying you ve won 10 out of 10 would be very nice, but if you don t improve as a team and if you don t progress certain players as they could possibly be progressed, I think that would be counter-productive.

Rooney wheels away in celebration after scoring against Uruguay during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Rooney controls the ball ahead of San Marino’s Giovanni Bonini during Saturday’s Euro 2016 qualifier

Rooney s penalty, the first goal in a 6-0 win in San Marino, moved him level with Sir Bobby Charlton on 49 England goals.

I was quite nervous before I took the penalty, said Rooney. It wasn t the record that was on my mind, I just felt I was going to slip. I slipped quite a few times in the warm-up. It was the pitch more than anything. I was worried I might slip, so I straightened my run-up and didn t plant my foot as hard.

It probably wasn t the greatest penalty, but thankfully it went in and it s a huge honour for me. To set a new record at Wembley would be special.

Hopefully I can do that.

Rooney is congratulated after scoring by team-mates Ross Barkley (left) and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Wayne Rooney Has Learned From Past Mistakes, There'll Be Not Time For Holidays As England Captain Eyes Glory At Euro 2016


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