Wayne Rooney is adamant England will not take their round-of-16 game against Iceland lightly as they set their sights on a quarter-final berth at Euro 2016.
Iceland head into the clash as the underdogs, despite remaining unbeaten in a group with Portugal, Hungary and Austria, but Rooney has warned England cannot afford to show a lack of respect toward Monday’s opponents.
“There is always pressure, regardless of the opponent. Fair play to Iceland for doing so well. The size of the nation is just a number. We both start with 11 players,” Rooney said at a media conference.
“It will not be easy to break down their defence. We have to move the ball around quickly and take our chances. We respect Iceland. We will not show Iceland a lack of respect. They will make it tough for us. It’s up to us to create chances and to score goals.
“Iceland have a good squad, a good set of players who work hard for each other. There might not be any superstars, but their work ethic is great and they make life difficult for their opponents.
“We want to play our own game and are confident we can win if we do just that. We have to win if we want to take on France.”
Rooney singled out Gylfi Sigurdsson as Iceland’s main threat, but was quick to stress there’s more to Lars Lagerback’s team than the Swansea City star.
“Sigurdsson is a fantastic player, who has done very well in the Premier League,” Rooney added.
“He is a very dangerous player who can score goals from set-pieces and from open play.
“He is one of the players we have to look out for, but we will not solely focus on Sigurdsson.”
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