Wayne Rooney named England captain for World Cup clash with San Marino
Wayne Rooney has been named England captain for Friday's World Cup qualifier with San Marino.
By Pete O'Rourke - Follow me: @skysportspeteo
Last Updated: 12/10/12 6:54am
England boss Roy Hodgson has given the armband to Rooney with regular skipper Steven Gerrard missing the visit of San Marino through suspension.
Gerrard's obvious replacement Frank Lampard has also been forced to miss the game at Wembley after failing to shake off a knee injury.
Joe Hart, who had also been mentioned as a possible contender for the captaincy, backed Rooney for the role earlier this week saying the Manchester United man was the ideal candidate to take the armband.
It means it will be the first time Rooney, who has won 76 caps for his country, will lead out his team for a competitive game as captain.
"It is a great honour. I'm really proud and excited. It will be a big night for me and my family," he said.
"It is a big challenge for myself. I don't know what sort of captain I am and I already speak with all the players whether it is younger or older.
"But I will try and get the best out of myself and the other players - and hopefully they can get the best out of me.
"Hopefully it will be a great result for us and I'm looking forward to the game."
Gerrard will take the armband for next week's qualifier with Poland after serving his ban against San Marino but his stand in feels the captaincy won't change his on-field attitude.
Rooney said: "I don't think I'm going to change my attitude because I'm wearing the armband. I'm quite vocal on the pitch and my determination can hopefully help the team.
"But I don't want to be making the wrong type of headlines and missing games I don't want to be missing.
"What happened in Montenegro was stupid. I regretted it as soon as I'd done it. It won't be happening again, I can promise.
"The thing against Algeria was partly do with looking for a way to justify my own performance. Since then, I've matured more as a player and a person.
"I have cut out a lot of the silly tackles and mistakes I made as a young player."
Rooney wants England to strike early to help ensure there are no shocks in store.
He said: "I've played at club level against lower league teams in cup competitions, and they do make it difficult for you.
"They get players behind the ball, so you have to break them down. The key is to get an early goal. Then we can kick on from there."