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Page last updated at 12:26 GMT, Sunday, 29 March 2009 13:26 UK

Terry tips Rooney for caps record

Wayne Rooney (left) is congratulated by John Terry after scoring against Slovakia
Rooney (left) has been singled out for high praise by Terry

England captain John Terry believes Wayne Rooney has the ability to beat Peter Shilton's record of 125 caps.

Rooney, 23, scored twice in the 4-0 win against Slovakia, and is set for his 50th cap against Ukraine on Wednesday.

Terry reached that landmark himself on Saturday, while David Beckham became England's most capped outfield player after making his 109th appearance.

"Wayne's potential is frightening. I was saying to him he could possibly get to 150 caps," said Terry.

"It is a reachable target - and certainly 100.

"Wayne has probably missed 20 games through injuries and suspensions, but he is very young, very talented and one of the best in the world that is for sure."

On his own achievements in reaching 50 caps, Terry, 28, reflected: "When you first come in the squad you aim to get to 50, and now I am there I can hopefully kick on and get many more.

"Now I really want to push on for 100 and that means staying fit for Chelsea and playing as many games as possible for my country."

The important players, the big players can play together - you just have to find their position on the pitch

Fabio Capello

Rooney took his tally to seven goals in his last four appearances for England with his double against Slovakia.

And Terry believes the Manchester United forward is benefitting from being given a free attacking role.

"I have said before to let Wayne play, because that is what he is best at doing," added the Chelsea defender.

"Wayne is growing into a very mature man both on and off the field. We love seeing him play with freedom and he plays very well like it."

England boss Fabio Capello says he never had any doubts he could get the best out of Rooney - as well as Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.

The Italian freed up Gerrard for extra attacking duties roaming in from the left, allowing him to interchange with Rooney, and also asked Lampard to play more of a holding role.

Capello said: "I always said the important players, the big players, can play together.

"You just have to find their position on the pitch.

"I have a lot of confidence in these players. But I also think the players have this confidence as well. They can feel it themselves.

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"I trust them and it reflects in their performance. This is very important.

"I was a player once and I have been manager for a long time. I know that players need that confidence."

Chelsea midfielder Lampard still managed to get among the goals against Slovakia, despite his more defensive remit.

He said: "I have been playing more of a disciplined role since Mr Capello has come in, and I do not mind that.

"Although it is not my natural game, I try to do as well as I can for the team.

"But I won't lie - I did enjoy the last 20 minutes when I had a bit of freedom, which gave me the chance to get in the box a few more times.

"Hopefully now even from deeper I can still keep getting in goalscoring positions and help the team."



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see also
England 4-0 Slovakia
28 Mar 09 |  Internationals
International football as it happened
28 Mar 09 |  Internationals
Beckham reaches new caps landmark
28 Mar 09 |  Internationals
Saturday's football photos
28 Mar 09 |  Football
Shilton expects to keep caps mark
25 Feb 09 |  Internationals


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