Hodgson backs Wayne Rooney to score record-breaking England goal in front of Wembley crowd

first_imgEngland manager Roy Hodgson was forced to defend his decision to deprive Wayne Rooney of the chance to break Sir Bobby Charlton’s goalscoring record in Saturday’s 6-0 win over San Marino.Manchester United striker Rooney equalled Charlton’s 49-goal tally with a 12th minute penalty, but was then taken off just before the hour as the minnows were starting to tire.If Rooney had stayed on, he would have almost certainly scored his 50th goal, with replacement Harry Kane and fellow substitute Theo Walcott scoring three goals between them in the closing stages.But Hodgson would not alter his plan to take the striker off, wanting to keep the frontman fresh for Tuesday’s qualifier against Switzerland at Wembley.And the boss has backed to hit that record-breaking strike in front of a jubilant home crowd.“The substitution was planned with a view to Tuesday night,” Hodgson said.“It would be nice if Wayne could get the 50th goal against Switzerland on Tuesday night, but one thing is for certain – he’ll get it.“If it’s not on Tuesday, it might be October, if it’s not October, it might be in November, and if it’s not in November, it might be 2016. But he’ll get it. It’s not as if this was his last and only chance.“If this was his last game for England and he needed one more goal to break the record, I wouldn’t have taken him off.”Rooney calmly slotted the penalty past Aldo Simoncini to give England an early lead after the referee spotted a push in the box, and the floodgates opened after the break to allow the visitors to seal the win that meant they became the first nation to qualify for Euro 2016.The skipper held his arms aloft and pointed to the sky in his celebration before waving to his wife Coleen and eldest son Kai, who had made the trip to the Stadio Olimpico in Seravalle in the hope of watching the star rewrite the history books.His 49th goal may have come against a team containing a bank clerk, an accountant and a barman, but that did not take any gloss off the striker’s enjoyment at equalling one of his heroes.”Obviously it is a proud moment for me to equal Sir Bobby’s record and my aim now is to push on, to help the team get the victory on Tuesday night and try to break that record to become the outright holder,” the United forward said.“It would have been great if it had happened tonight, but it will be on Tuesday, if selected, with the tradition at Wembley. But again it is important we win the game,” he said.Rooney also paid tribute to United and England ambassador Charlton.“Since I joined Manchester United at 18, Sir Bobby has been in the dressing room after all the games,” said Rooney.“He has got a presence about him, he goes around and speaks to all of the players, in particular myself after England and United games. He comes in and gives me advice to try to help me and I am sure if there is anyone who would be happy for me to have broken his record, it would be him.” 1 Wayne Rooney sits in the dugout after being denied the chance to score record-breaking 50th England goal against San Marino last_img read more