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Rooney desires long-term leadership role

Interim England captain Wayne Rooney has said he wants the armband full-time, but will happily return it to Steven Gerrard when he returns.

The Manchester United striker scored twice in a 5-0 win over San Marino at Wembley while skippering his country for the first time, helping the Three Lions to regain top spot in Group H.

But Roy Hodgson will reinstate Gerrard as captain for match in Warsaw on Tuesday, with the Liverpool skipper back from suspension, although Rooney hopes to claim the armband on a permanent basis in the future.

“If you can get the opportunity to captain your country, it’s something which I think – as a player – you need to grab with both hands,” Rooney told the Football Association’s official website.

“In the future, hopefully that’ll happen but, at the minute, Steven’s our captain and he’ll lead by example for us.”

However, Rooney has vowed to continue acting as a leader and inspiring his younger team-mates even if he is not in possession of the armband.

“It won’t be a different way I look at the game or the way I try to do things,” he said.

“I always try to talk to my team-mates and I feel I can help them. It’s something that I was lucky to have when I was younger and it’s something which I feel it’ll benefit them.”

Sat 13 Oct, 2012
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