Warsaw: England forward Wayne Rooney is in an optimistic mood ahead of the Three Lions’ quarter-final clash with Italy on Sunday, claiming the team are more than good enough to beat Cesare Prandelli’s side.
Following England’s disappointing showing at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the team has appeared considerably more relaxed and determined at Euro 2012, and Rooney is sure they are ready to reach the semi-finals.
The Manchester United striker believes the squad are more organised and together than any previous national team selection he has been involved with, and although he admits the Azzurri will prove a massive test for England, he is confident it will be Roy Hodgson’s side celebrating on Sunday.
Rooney said: "We`re more organised than ever. The lads have all been fighting for each other.”
“We want to do this together, so I think we`ve got a great chance. We feel good, we`ve prepared well and we`re really looking forward to it. It`s important that we believe in ourselves. We`ve got a great group of players and we`re confident.”
"It`s not going to be an easy game, but we`ve got the players, we`ve got the belief and the togetherness to do a job on them. Once you get to this stage of the competition anything can happen."
Rooney missed England’s opening two matches of Group D, with the team picking up a draw with France followed up by a 3-2 win over Sweden, but on his return he found the net in the 1-0 win over Ukraine. Although he feels he could have done a lot better overall, he was pleased with how he grew into the contest.
"Maybe a few years ago I would have run round trying to do everything in the first 20 minutes, but you`ve got to try and feel your way into the game."
"I tried to do that - I didn`t always do it as well as I wanted to, but that was always going to be the case I think. As the game went on I felt stronger and that will help us for Sunday." He added.
First Published: Thursday, June 21, 2012, 19:00