Rooney not perturbed by lack of goals

September 7, 2008

Wayne Rooney insists his international goalscoring record is not weighing on his mind as he approaches England's World Cup qualifier in Zagreb.

Since scoring twice in Euro 2004 against Croatia, their opponents on Wednesday, the Manchester United forward has added five goals in an England shirt to take his overall tally to 14.

Observers have noted Rooney's other contributions aside from goalscoring, and the 22-year-old believes finding the back of the net is just one part of his game.

"I've no problem with it,'' Rooney said.

"It's a new campaign, a new start, and hopefully we can do well in this campaign.''

Against Andorra in their opening qualifier, he set up Joe Cole's second goal at the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona to give Fabio Capello's men a win to take into the clash against Croatia, who defeated them twice in their last campaign.

Midfielder Frank Lampard said: "The thing with Wayne is that he is not just a goalscorer, he's a creator and works hard for the team, creating angles, not just an out-and-out striker.''

The Croatia clash has been billed as the fixture that could define England's campaign and provide evidence of their progress under Capello.

"Croatia are a good footballing team and we know we'll have to be at the top of our game,'' Rooney explained.

"We'll have to defend well, first of all, and create opportunities going forward. Hopefully we can do that.''

Rooney has had his temperament questioned during his career but was restrained as Andorra looked to frustrate England at Montjuic.

"A couple of their defenders went into the game with certain things on their minds - to try and upset our players - but I think the whole team coped well with it,'' he added.

"It was a difficult game. They come and didn't really want to win the game or play. They just wanted to spoil it for us. But, as I say, we were professional and we did a good job.

"As a forward, they've got so many defenders back there that it is difficult at times. It was a bit frustrating, but I thought we coped well.''