Wayne Rooney ends speculation he will close the door on England

Wayne Rooney ends speculation he will close the door on England

Wayne Rooney

England are already looking for a new manager after their nightmare in Nice but captain Wayne Rooney has no plans to walk away.

Roy Hodgson fell on his sword after England were humiliated in the first knockout round of Euro 2016, going down 2-1 to a history-making Iceland side who arrived as major underdogs.

There had been some light speculation that Rooney could contemplate his own future if his side were unsuccessful in France, but he cooled any such talk within moments of the final whistle.

Having just equalled David Beckham’s outfield caps record of 115, and scored his 53rd international goal from the penalty spot, Rooney went out on a limb by telling fans there were still reasons to be optimistic about the future.

And, if Hodgson’s eventual successor is willing, the 30-year-old wants to be part of it.

“I said before the tournament and I’ve been asked many times but I’m proud to play for England and I’ll see who the next manager is and, if selected, I’m available to play,” said Rooney.

“It is hard to see it now but the future is bright. It will take a bit of time I’m sure but we have to try to dust it off as quick as we can and try to move on.

“It is a hard one to take, it is embarrassing. We know we are a better team.

“Whoever the new manager is, it is the job for him to recognise and try to see where we need to improve.”

Rooney is a veteran of England’s tournament traumas, having tasted different brands of defeat in 2004, 2006, 2010, 2012 and 2014 – and a failure to qualify under Steve McClaren for Euro 2008.

That marks Rooney out from most of his younger team-mates, for whom he had advice on how to deal with the fall-out.

“I think they just need to keep their heads down,” he said.

“It will hurt for a while of course, the players understand that. You have to bounce back, that is your job, but each player is different, some might take longer.

“We are all in it together and we all have to share that responsibility.”

England goalkeeper Joe Hart took personal responsibility for the result, having allowed Kolbeinn Sigthorsson’s low shot to squirm past him to give Iceland the lead.

That was his second error of the competition, following a similarly tepid response to Gareth Bale’s free-kick in Lens.

“I’ve got to be saving the second goal. I’ve got to hold my hands up to that and I apologise for ultimately costing us the game and the tournament,” he told ITV.

“The standards I set haven’t been met in this tournament. Like I say, I apologise for the goal.

“From the bottom of my heart I’m sorry. I’m an England fan through and through and I’ll continue to be.

“There are going to be massive regrets, personally and as a team.”

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