England vs Switzerland: We must get behind 'special' Harry Kane, says Wayne Rooney

Rooney says criticism of the Tottenham Hotspur striker for his seven-game run without scoring was unwarranted

Sam Wallace
Monday 07 September 2015 22:51
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Wayne Rooney, right, congratulates Harry Kane after England's victory against San Marino last week
Wayne Rooney, right, congratulates Harry Kane after England's victory against San Marino last week

Wayne Rooney has come to the defence of Harry Kane, saying that criticism of the Tottenham Hotspur striker for his seven-game run without scoring was unwarranted and the 22-year-old should be allowed to develop without pressure.

Wayne Rooney has come to the defence of Harry Kane, saying that criticism of the Tottenham Hotspur striker for his seven-game run without scoring was unwarranted and the 22-year-old should be allowed to develop without pressure.

Speaking before England’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Switzerland on Tuesday night, Rooney went to unusual lengths to offer support to one of his team-mates. Kane’s goal against San Marino on Saturday brought to an end seven matches without a goal, including three for the Under-21s in June.

Rooney said: “He [Kane] is a great player. I feel he had a fantastic season last season. Everyone needs to slow down a little bit with the criticism or the pressure you’ve tried to put him under early in the season. It’s four games in and you can see the talent he’s got.

“We all need to get behind him in this country. He’s a special player and he’ll score goals. I’m sure that goal against San Marino will give him a real boost of confidence. I’m sure in the next coming weeks the goals will come for him. He has to keep doing what he’s doing and no doubt the goals will come.”

With one goal required to surpass Sir Bobby Charlton’s 49-goal standard for England, Rooney said he could envisage quitting international football only if he was told by a manager he was no longer in the reckoning. “When that time comes, I’ll have to listen to my body. I feel I’m capable of going to Russia [in the 2018 World Cup]. After that, it may be a realistic time to see how I feel and if I feel it’s not right for England or myself, I’ll have a decision to make. Or the manager would have a decision to make. If I feel I can carry on, I’ll try. But I won’t be one to say I’m not available for selection.”

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