Switzerland vs England: 'Patience paid off', says skipper Wayne Rooney after impressive win

Switzerland 0 England 2

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The Independent Football

England captain Wayne Rooney was delighted with the patience shown by his side as they caught Switzerland twice on the counter to win 2-0 and get off the mark in their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.

Switzerland are expected to be England's closest competitors in Group E, but Danny Welbeck's double gave England an early headstart in the race to qualify.

"We've put the work in, we worked on our defensive shape when we haven't got the ball and then springing from defence into attack, which you see with the goals tonight," Rooney told ITV. "We're pleased that the things we've worked on have paid off so it's a happy performance for us."

He added: "We did well as a team and we took our chances. We caught them on the break with speed and Dan got two great goals so I'm really delighted."

Arsenal new boy Welbeck notched his first international goals for more than a year, first tapping home after an exquisite ball across the box from Raheem Sterling, before showing great composure and awareness to calmly slot past stranded Swiss keeper Yann Sommer in the dying moments.

The former Manchester United forward felt that his goals were ultimately just rewards for the work ethic shown by England.


"I think we created a number of chances which maybe we could have done better with the final pass. Once we got the first goal I think we were in control and played a good team game today and you could see the work ethic - everyone is playing for each other and that's very important," he said. Danny-Welbeck.jpg

The 23-year-old could not hide his delight after scoring his fine second goal, but was quick to praise those who worked hard to provide him with the opportunity.

"Obviously we've sat back a little bit deeper and we've got the pace to get in behind them so once they went Raz (Sterling) took the ball down the wing, played it into Rickie (Lambert) and then I knew he had the ability to slide me in and thankfully he did that," he added.

"My first touch was nice and it was a nice finish."

England manager Roy Hodgson, who has endured a difficult few days following his side's uninspiring 1-0 win over Norway last week, threw his fists in the air in a show of sheer delight and, no doubt, relief when Welbeck smashed home the second goal.

Since the narrow win on Wednesday, Hodgson has had to bat away constant criticism and reaffirm his belief in his players, who were mostly the same faces that failed to make it out of the group stages of this summer's World Cup.

To see Welbeck put clear daylight between them and the Swiss in such an emphatic manner must have been doubly gratifying for the former Fulham boss, but he stuck to just congratulating his charges afterwards.

"I've never really lost faith. I'm just pleased to see the boys play well. I thought that the way we approached the game from the first minute was exactly what we wanted and we got our reward for once," he said.

"I think we made hard work of it because there were so many chances to score goals before we eventually got the one that we needed but it was a good performance away from home against one of the better teams in the group and I'm pleased we won."

There were some shaky moments for England, with Chelsea defender Gary Cahill forced into a last-ditch clearance late on and Hodgson was delighted that his players refused to wilt under the pressure.

"I thought they played some good football in the second half. I thought in the first half we were largely in control but they got better as the game went on but luckily we didn't deteriorate too much," he added.

Despite keeping a clean sheet Hodgson also emphasised that this result is just a foundation to be built upon as he looks to turn a promising group of young players into hardened campaigners ahead of Euro 2016.

He said: "I think there are areas there that we've got to improve. But you can't expect players playing their early games, or even making their debuts, to make all the right decisions and not show some naivety from time to time because of the pressures of the game. They are areas we can work (on) and we've got a couple of years to do so."