Roy Hodgson heaps praise over Wayne Rooney

The England manager named the Manchester United striker the team’s captain following the retirement of Steven Gerrard 

Hodgson says that he has witnessed a marked improvement in the former Everton man ever since he has been handed captaincy of the Three Lions.

Speaking to an American radio station, the former Liverpool and Fulham manager said that Rooney has really stepped up and become a really mature individual and has taken the honour of being the national team captain as a huge responsibility.

“Wayne has been fantastic all the time I’ve been with the national team, but I would say he has stepped up a notch in terms of being an England player since he got the captaincy,” the England boss told American radio station Sirius.

“He took that honour very seriously. He researched the role a little bit, taken in experience of playing under previous captains and he works very closely with me and the players but most importantly of all, he plays well for the team.

“The good fortune for us is he has come up with goals – I am thinking of the Estonia game when he wasn’t having a wonder game – even when his actual performance hasn’t been as good as he can be.

“I think we are lucky that the void we thought might exist after Steven Gerrard has been filled.”