Hodg­son says Rooney’s place is un­der pres­sure

Cap­tain faces a fight to re­gain his Eng­land spot Kane happy he is now a marked man for Euros

The Daily Telegraph - Total Football - - TOTAL FOOTBALL - By Matt Law in Ber­lin

Wayne Rooney faces a fight to win back his place in Eng­land’s team for the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship af­ter Roy Hodg­son ad­mit­ted Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy had put pres­sure on the striker.

Kane and Vardy in­sisted that they could han­dle be­ing marked men in France af­ter grab­bing Europe’s at­ten­tion with stun­ning goals here to help Eng­land to a dra­matic 3-2 vic­tory over world cham­pi­ons Ger­many on Satur­day night.

Rooney missed the game, and is also ruled out of to­mor­row night’s friendly against Holland at Wem­b­ley with a knee in­jury, but Eng­land’s cap­tain would have watched Kane and Vardy grab their chance with both hands.

Kane started against Ger­many and scored, while Vardy stepped off the bench to grab a goal and will start against the Dutch.

Rooney will be part of Eng­land’s Euro 2016 squad as long as he is fit, but Hodg­son con­ceded that the record goalscorer was un­der pres­sure to get back in his side.

“When he [Rooney] comes back and is fit again, he is go­ing to be putting enor­mous pres­sure on these play­ers. Just as these play­ers have been putting enor­mous pres­sure on him,” said Hodg­son.

“Vardy came on and did well, Kane was ex­cel­lent through­out the game. I will en­joy that for the minute. I’m pretty sure when Wayne is fit again, and comes back, then we will as­sess the situation.”

Hodg­son has made it clear that Rooney will re­main very much part of his plans and does not face be­ing left out of his squad for the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship al­to­gether.

“Wayne, I re­peat, is our cap­tain,” said Hodg­son. “He has cap­tained the team ex­tremely well these past two years, taken us through a qual­i­fi­ca­tion cam­paign, where we had com­plete suc­cess, 10 wins out of 10, so it doesn’t please me too much when it is sug­gested the mo­ment he gets in­jured and doesn’t play that he de­serves to be jet­ti­soned in some way. He cer­tainly doesn’t de­serve that.”

Kane be­lieves Hodg­son will rel­ish hav­ing a se­lec­tion headache over his strik­ers and agreed that Rooney still had an im­por­tant role to play for his coun­try.

“He [Hodg­son] wants ev­ery­one on top form and ap­ply­ing them­selves well, you want the best play­ers to be on form come the Euros,” said Kane. “I am sure it is a prob­lem he en­joys hav­ing.

“Wayne and Ra­heem [Ster­ling] are great play­ers and I am sure they will be back in the squad. Ev­ery­one is fight­ing for places and it is what this coun­try needs. It will only make us bet­ter play­ers.

“Wayne is a fan­tas­tic player, he is our skip­per and is a great per­son to have around, and Roy has made it clear he wants him in­volved. All I can do is keep work­ing hard and give the man­ager a prob­lem.”

Kane took his in­ter­na­tional tally to four goals, while Vardy net­ted for the first time for Eng­land and the pair re­alise they will now re­ceive even more at­ten­tion from Europe’s de­fend­ers.

Asked if he felt he could score against any­body in the world, Kane, the Premier League’s top scorer with 21 goals, said: “Def­i­nitely. You have to as a striker, in ev­ery game, be­lieve in your­self and that if you get the op­por­tu­ni­ties, you put them away.

“I got my shots against Ger­many, hit the goal and ev­ery­one did the same. We had some good chances, and could have scored more. You need that be­lief, who­ever you are Eye-catch­ing: Jamie Vardy (cen­tre) cel­e­brates his first Eng­land goal play­ing against. Maybe I’ll be a marked man for Eng­land now. Again, that is football. If you want to be one of the top play­ers in the world, you have to deal with that. I am happy for the chal­lenge. I want to keep work­ing hard, to keep get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter and to have more nights like this, more goals for Eng­land be­cause they are spe­cial.”

Vardy has quickly adapted to the spe­cial at­ten­tion he now re­ceives at Le­ices­ter, hav­ing scored 19 Premier League goals, and is con­fi­dent he can thrive on the in­ter­na­tional stage – hav­ing al­ready been de­scribed as a “spec­tac­u­lar player” by Ger­many man­ager Joachim Löw.

“It just means that I have to go and work harder when I am on the train­ing field and look at ways where I can still hurt op­po­nents that, hope­fully, they won’t think I will be able to do,” said Vardy. “So, it’s down to a lot of hard work now, which I am more than happy to keep do­ing.

“You come here [to play with Eng­land] and you have got the coun­try’s best play­ers, but the good thing about that is they can only make you good as a player and a per­son, so I work as hard as I can in train­ing. If I can learn any­thing off these play­ers I will try to and, hope­fully, that will make me a bet­ter player as well.

“I think it’s good to have as much com­pe­ti­tion for places as pos­si­ble, it makes ev­ery­one try as hard as pos­si­ble – like you have seen in the Ger­many game.”

Asked whether he had been able to pause for thought about his in­cred­i­ble per­sonal jour­ney from non-League to in­ter­na­tional striker in the space of four years, Vardy added: “Yeah, ev­ery day when I get a bit of alone time.”

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