Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Rooney Wants Walcott At His Best Against Bulgaria

London: Wayne Rooney said he hoped Theo Walcott would put the memory of Manchester United's 8-2 rout of Arsenal behind him to focus on England's upcoming Euro 2012 qualifier away to Bulgaria.

Rooney scored a hat-trick for United at Old Trafford on Sunday as Arsenal, for whom Walcott netted one of two goals, shipped eight for the first time in over a century.

But the two players now find themselves on the same side as members of an England squad that play Bulgaria in Sofia on Friday before the Group G leaders face Wales in another Euro 2012 qualifier at Wembley a week on Tuesday.

"We're here to concentrate on England," Rooney told a news conference at the squad's hotel on Tuesday.

"We want Theo at his best so don't really want him to remember that result."

However, United striker Rooney was certainly buoyed by his own performance last weekend.

"It's always great to be in good form and scoring goals.

"I'm looking forward to getting back playing for England, playing well, and helping us get the points we need."

As for the upcoming England fixtures, Rooney said: "I think it'll be a really tough game, Bulgaria away.

"I'm sure it'll be a good atmosphere and a difficult game to come away with three points from.

"Wales are a good team but I'd like to think we've got enough to beat them at home.

"So hopefully we can come away from those two games with six points."

Rooney has started to link up well with new United team-mate Ashley Young, a pre-season arrival from Aston Villa and the pair could prove equally effective at international level.

"In the last few games for England he's done really well," Rooney said of Young. "He works really hard for the team. A lot of people don't realise how hard he works.

"If he gets the chance to start he'll take it with two hands."

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