MX23RW : Friday, February 26 15:49:32| >> :120:6583:6583:

Roy Hodgson: 'England captaincy has improved Wayne Rooney'

England boss Roy Hodgson believes that being made captain of the Three Lions has helped raise the level of Wayne Rooney's performances at international level.

Roy Hodgson has suggested that being named as England captain has improved the performances of Wayne Rooney on the international stage.

The 29-year-old was announced as Steven Gerrard's successor last year following the Three Lions' ill-fated World Cup campaign.

Rooney has scored five goals in his side's Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, helping England to a 100% record in their matches in Group E, much to the delight of his manager.

Hodgson told radio station Sirius: "Wayne has been fantastic all the time I've been with the national team, but I would say he has stepped up a notch in terms of being an England player since he got the captaincy. He took that honour very seriously.

"He researched the role a little bit, took in his experience of playing under previous captains, and he works very closely with me and the players. But, most importantly of all, he plays well for the team.

"The good fortune for us is he has come up with goals - I am thinking of the Estonia game when he wasn't having a wonder game - even when his actual performance hasn't been as good as he can be. I think we are lucky that the void we thought might exist after Steven Gerrard has been filled."

Rooney is currently second in England's all-time leading scorers list, one goal behind Sir Bobby Charlton.

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England's midfielder Andros Townsend (R) shoots to score a goal during the friendly football match Italy vs England at the Juventus Stadium in Turin on March 31, 2015
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