England vs San Mariano reaction: Wayne Rooney not feeling the pressure of Bobby Charlton record, insists Roy Hodgson

The Manchester United striker is now one closer

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The Independent Football

Roy Hodgson said that Wayne Rooney was playing without feeling the pressure or surpassing Sir Bobby Charlton’s record of 49 goals for England, on a night when the striker could have had many more.

Rooney scored once from the penalty spot – his 42nd goal for England, seven behind Charlton – as the team beat San Marino 5-0 in their second Euro 2016 qualifying game.

Hodgson said: “The record won't play on his mind. We'd like to think, with the way he is and the footballer he is, he's got a good few years in him yet. There are plenty of games left. I don't think we should put any pressure on him to reach targets early. The important thing is he keeps playing well and doing a job for the team and working as hard as he did tonight.”

Hodgson said that he thought San Marino, most of them amateur players, had improved since England last faced them in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers. He agreed with award of the sponsors’ man of the match award to Jack Wilshere.

“His passing was outstanding second half, and he didn't too badly first half either. It was nice to see Adam Lallana again [a second half substitute], those wonderful touches. We didn't always convert them, but we must have had seven or eight intricate moves in the penalty box but couldn't put them away."


Hodgson continued: “I half expected to see some good and intricate play because I've been working with this team for a while. If I was going to pick two things that impressed me most it would be the runs into the corner from the midfield and front players when we got the ball wide to the ful-backs, but also the recovery runs. At 5-0 and game over, some of the recovery runs of players winning the ball back to keep attacks going was impressive.”