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Rooney: First Goal Was Vital

England striker Wayne Rooney has praised the tactics of the Three Lions head coach, Roy Hodgson, and highlighted the importance of grabbing the first goal in his country’s 4-1 World Cup qualifying win over Montenegro on Friday night.

Following a tight first half, which ended 0-0, England romped to victory in the second 45 with Rooney grabbing the opening goal, a goal he feel released the pressure and set the tone for the win.

The other goals for England were an own goal by Branko Boskovic and strikes from debutant Andros Townsend and Liverpool man Daniel Sturridge.

“It was a tough game,” said Rooney.

“First half they defended deep and defended well, but we still created a few opportunities.

“So we came in at half time knowing we could create chances against Montenegro.

“I think getting the goal so early in the second half was vital and we excelled after that and deserved the three points.

“I think you saw a weight come off everyone's shoulders. It was always going to be a night where we had to be patient and try and break them down but getting that goal was vital for us.”

Rooney also praised the attacking tactics of Hodgson which saw him playing himself in attack alongside the likes of Sturridge, Townsend and Danny Welbeck.

“It was great. Exciting, with a lot of speed and with experience of Steve [Gerrard] and Frank [Lampard] behind us,” added Rooney.

“The manager gave us the freedom and platform to go out and express ourselves and I thought the four of us did that, especially Andros[Townsend], that was some debut.”

The result sees England top Group H and a win over Poland on Tuesday would see them qualify for the World Cup in Brazil next year.

Relate Articles

Read: England Ease Past Montenegro

Read: Hodgson: They Made The Country Proud

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