England news: Keeping Wayne Rooney as captain was a simple decision, says Gareth Southgate

Despite a disappointing Euro 2016, Rooney was kept in the role by previous boss Sam Allardyce and Southgate sees no reason to change the skipper now he is in charge of the national team

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The Independent Football

England interim manager Gareth Southgate had no doubts about retaining Wayne Rooney as captain, hailing the striker as the "outstanding leader of the group".

Despite a disappointing Euro 2016, Rooney was kept in the role by previous boss Sam Allardyce and Southgate sees no reason to change the skipper now he is in charge of the national team.

"The decision to make him captain is quite simple," Southgate told a press conference.

"What I felt from what I have seen around St George's, what I gleaned from talking to staff over the two years, is that he is the outstanding leader in the group.

"The most important thing at this time is leadership, on and off the field, and Wayne has provided that over the last two years.

"The way he has matured into that is really impressive. I have no doubt in my mind about keeping him in that position."

Southgate would not be drawn on the circumstances of his predecessor's departure but admitted his distaste for the football "industry".

Allardyce was removed after being caught making unguarded comments to an undercover newspaper reporter, including on the subject of third-party ownership of players.

"I have to say I'm involved in a sport that I love and an industry that at times I don't like," said Southgate.

"The detail of what happened last week, I'm not too au fait with. I've heard names mentioned and bits of information but I don't have the detail so I don't think I can speculate about what might or might not have happened.

"There's lots about the industry of football that I don't like but it's a sport I love, representing my country was something I loved and they're the bits I have to focus on."

PA.

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