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Rooney calls for England soccer solidarity

England soccer captain Wayne Rooney has urged the squad to stick together after a tumultuous week.
Rooney calls for England soccer solidarity
Photo Source: PAA

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Wayne Rooney admits it was a "shame" to see Sam Allardyce sacked as England boss but urged the squad to stick together after a tumultuous week.

Allardyce's ignominious exit last week, after just 67 days and one game in charge, came after a Daily Telegraph investigation into football corruption.

Gareth Southgate has been installed as interim manager for the next four matches, and one of his first announcements was to retain Rooney as captain.

The Manchester United forward is likely to lead England out against Malta at Wembley on Saturday in the second of their 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

And the 30-year-old is eager to focus on football after a "tough couple of weeks" off the field for the national side.

Speaking at a press conference, Rooney said: "We need to build on the three points we won in the last game (against Slovakia), and the other side of it isn't our issue, it's nothing for us to be concerned about.

"It's a shame, everyone could see how excited Sam was for the job and he came in and showed that enthusiasm to the players. It's a shame it's happened and I'm sure he deeply regrets it. It was a decision for the FA to take.

"As a group of players we need to stick together and concentrate on the football. For the FA I'm sure it has been a tough couple of weeks but for the players we've been with our clubs and we have to focus on the games."

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