Friday 19 January 2018

Rooney hits out at boo-boys to cap woeful night

Simon Stone

Wayne Rooney hit out at the England fans after they booed the team from the field following the dismal draw against Algeria in Cape Town last night.

As the England striker trudged off following an ineffective performance, he turned and said sarcastically to the ITV cameras: "It's nice to see your home fans booing you."

The result means England need to beat Slovenia next Wednesday to ensure they qualify from Group C.

Captain Steven Gerrard made no excuses for the stalemate, against a team that were defeated by Giovanni Trapattoni's Ireland 3-0 in a recent World Cup warm-up.

"We're not happy with the performance, we need more," he said. "We want to stay in this tournament until the final stages. We were not good enough to make the breakthrough in the final third.

"We've not got any excuses, we know what we have to do. We have to win the final game, which adds to the pressure, but at this level you have to handle that pressure.

"We were not aggressive enough. Give them (Algeria) credit but we have to look at ourselves."

Jermain Defoe, who replaced Emile Heskey in the second half, attempted to lift the gloom and declared England are "a great team" despite two lacklustre performances in South Africa so far. "We're a great team regardless of what anyone says about tonight," said Defoe.

"Look around the dressing-room, it's a good mix. There is youth and lads who have done it. We've got to stick together, that is the key."

"No games are easy -- we've seen that in the other games.

"I'm not trying to make excuses. They played well, they passed the ball well. We worked hard and with a little bit more luck we would have scored.

"We can understand (the fans') frustration, they have travelled thousands of miles to support the boys. It's important for the fans to stick behind us.

"To keep supporting us and hopefully we will put things right on Wednesday."

England boss Fabio Capello faced criticism when it was revealed Robert Green only found out he was playing in England's opener against the United States two hours prior to kick-off. But David James, who replaced Green last night, insists that is normal procedure.

"I found out five minutes before we got on the bus. Usual standard," said James. "We've been training hard and waited until for the team announcement -- that's normal."

Irish Independent

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