Misfiring England striker Wayne
Rooney may not have found the net for the national team in nine months, but he
has retained an utter belief in his potential to score this week.
The 24-year-old Manchester United
forward said that he had seen no team to fear at these World Cup finals and
believed that, if partnered again with Emile Heskey, would lead England to
victory over Algeria.
“Our partnership created problems,
and chances, against America last time and I am sure if we play again on Friday
we will create problems for Algeria,” he said. “We are looking forward to it
and getting all three points.”
Rooney, 24, scored of 25 goals in
61 appearances and last struck for England in a 5-1 victory over Croatia at
Wembley on September 9 last year while Heskey, 32, has failed to score for
England in more than year.
His last goal came in Kazakhstan in
a 4-0 win on June 6 last year. He has scored seven goals in 59 appearances.
“I am not worried about it (not
scoring),” said Rooney. “We have got players in the team who can score goals,
but I know that for us to do well, I need to play better and score some goals.
But if the team do well, then I will be happy.”
England meet the north Africans in
Cape Town on Friday, but after an uninspiring display in a 1-1 draw against the
United States in their group C opener last Saturday, have yet to offer much to
justify their self-confidence. The Three Lions’ confidence might take a bigger
blow if they cannot claim three points and the US defeats Slovenia.
Manager Fabio Capello last Friday
said that he believed his team would reach next month’s World Cup final. Rooney
had no fear.
“No, there is no fear from us,”
said Rooney. “We took the game to them and we are not playing with fear at all.
For myself, I hope to play and I hope I score – don’t get me wrong. But as long
as we get three points, I’m happy.”
Asked about other teams that he has
watched on television, Rooney said he had not been shaken or stirred.
“Germany looked good and I was
impressed with the Ivory Coast’s discipline, “he said. “Brazil were very solid
in defence and have a lot of flair going forward. They will be hard to beat.
But there has not been a stand-out team so far, bar Germany. But we are confident
we will do well and qualify from the group.
“To be honest, it’s not been that
exciting so far. I’m hoping it gets more exciting!”
Rooney is expected to lead the
attack in England’s familiar 4-4-2 formation against Algeria with midfielder
Gareth Barry returning after an ankle injury to anchor midfield, releasing
Captain Steven Gerrard for a roving role from the left flank. Of course Rooney
can only hope his goal-keeper keeps a lead this time and does not let in
another soft goal.