December 02, 2016Print : Sports
LONDON: England manager Gareth Southgate confirmed Wayne Rooney will remain captain on Thursday as he faced the media for the first time since his permanent appointment.
Rooney, 31, apologised after being pictured looking the worse for wear as he mingled with wedding guests at the England team hotel in the early hours during the most recent international break.
Southgate dropped him for a 0-0 World Cup qualifying draw in Slovenia, but recalled him for England’s 3-0 win over Scotland, before injury forced the Manchester United forward to withdraw from the squad.
“Wayne Rooney is the England captain,” Southgate told reporters at Wembley.
“I said that from the beginning of the interim period. What’s also clear is that I’ve only selected him to start in two of the four matches we’ve had.
“It is not a case that Wayne expects to play every game. It’s important we develop more leaders in that group.
“When I played for England at Euro 96, there were leaders throughout the team. Wayne has played an important part up to this point, but we also need to develop others.”
Southgate, 46, was appointed England manager on a four-year contract on Wednesday, having previously been in charge for four games on an interim basis.