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Roy Hodgson says England captain Wayne Rooney must play well if he wants to keep his starting place for the Euro 2016 finals next summer.
Rooney has been hailed for his influence on the younger members of Hodgson’s Three Lions squad as well as his off-the-field contributions as skipper, but the England boss says it is important for the 30-year-old to be playing well more than anything else.
“The most important thing for him as far as I’m concerned is that he’s got to keep playing well for Manchester United, playing well for England when we have our games together and that he still leads by example on the field,” said Hodgson.
England have been paired with Wales, Russia and Slovakia for next summer’s tournament in France and with the likes of Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy scoring goals for fun this season in the Premier League, questions are being asked of Rooney’s role in the starting team.
Hodgson has always remained loyal to his captain up until now and Rooney rewarded that faith with seven goals in qualifying.
The Three Lions boss hinted that Rooney’s club form will have to improve in the months ahead in order to safeguard his place in the team.
“It doesn’t matter how much good work he can do for us off the field in terms of being some sort of a mentor for the younger players. We really need him being Wayne Rooney on the field scoring goals, making goals and with his drive and commitment leading us forward,” Hodgson added.
England are 13.00 to win Euro 2016, while they are 1.91 to win Group B.