News ID: 126319
Published: 0640 GMT September 06, 2015

Hodgson defends decision to replace record-seeking Rooney

Hodgson defends decision to replace record-seeking Rooney

Roy Hodgson defended his decision to deprive Wayne Rooney of the chance to break Sir Bobby Charlton's goal scoring record in England's 6-0 win over San Marino.

Rooney equaled Charlton's 49-goal tally with a 12th minute penalty, but was then taken off just before the hour as the minnows were starting to tire, reported.

If Rooney had stayed on, he would have almost certainly scored his 50th goal, but Hodgson would not alter his plan to take the striker off to keep him fresh for Tuesday's qualifier against Switzerland at Wembley.

"The substitution was planned with a view to Tuesday night," the England manager said.

"It would be nice if Wayne could get the 50th goal against Switzerland on Tuesday night, but one thing is for certain — he'll get it.

"If it's not on Tuesday, it might be October, if it's not October, it might be in November, and if it's not in November, it might be 2016. But he'll get it. It's not as if this was his last and only chance.

"If this was his last game for England and he needed one more goal to break the record, I wouldn't have taken him off."

Rooney calmly slotted the penalty past Aldo Simoncini to give England an early lead after the referee spotted a push in the box, and the floodgates opened after the break to allow the visitors to seal the win that meant they became the first nation to qualify for Euro 2016.


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