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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 September, 2003, 03:43 GMT 04:43 UK
Rooney delights Eriksson
Wayne Rooney
England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson praised teenage striker Wayne Rooney after his man-of-the-match performance in the 2-0 win over Liechtenstein.

The teenage striker was the one shining light in an uninspiring display against the Group Seven whipping boys.

Playing in a deeper role just behind the front two, Rooney was at the heart of England's most creative play and grabbed his second international goal in the space of five days.

"In that role he's doing very well," said Eriksson. "He's clever, he plays people in, he scores goals.

"For a 17-year-old boy he has started international football in an excellent way.

"We'll see him score for England in the future and it would be very difficult to leave him out if he plays like that.

"He's a very good football player and he can get better with age."

Neither Eriksson nor skipper David Beckham were worried that the expected flood of goals never came.

It will be hotter in Turkey and not only the weather
Sven-Goran Eriksson
"We had to win the game. Liechtenstein seems easy but you never know in football and they defended with 10 men all the time," said Eriksson.

"It's very difficult to break through and make the first goal.

"It was a professional performance. We could have scored more goals but the job has been done.

Beckham added: "We always want to put in a good performance for the fans and for ourselves but it was the three points we needed.

"We said before the game that we would take 1-0 or 2-0 and three points was what we got. We know we can play better."

England will travel to Istanbul next month knowing a draw against Turkey will secure a place in Euro 2004.

And with England's defence looking ragged in recent games, Eriksson vowed to go on the attack.

"I don't think England, the team we have now, can go in and try and make a draw," he added.

"When we qualified for the World Cup going to Germany was the same pressure.

"If we had lost we couldn't have won the group. It will be hotter in Turkey and not only the weather. It will be an excellent and an interesting match.

"It makes a lot of difference if you have to win a game as opposed to when you can be happy with two out of three results."

But Liechtenstein's coach Walter Hormann warned that getting a point in Turkey will be a hard task.

"It's going to be really difficult for England," he said.

"The Turkish players are very creative. The performance of England was not great tonight."






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England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson
"It was a little bit frustrating"




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