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Capello pleased for fans who braved tube strike

June 10, 2009

Fabio Capello told Wayne Rooney to put his feet up and enjoy his summer holidays after the striker set England on the way to an easy victory against Andorra at Wembley.

Fabio Capello
Empics / TonyMarshallFabio Capello gets his point across

Rooney scored twice in the first half of the 6-0 win that put Capello's men on the brink of qualifying for next year's World Cup but he was taken off at half-time despite being in the hunt for a hat-trick.

The Manchester United frontman could also have broken Tommy Taylor's record of eight competitive goals in a season.

"I decided, 'Thank you very much, have a good holiday','' England boss Capello said.

Rooney's two goals sandwiched Frank Lampard's strike, then in the second half Jermain Defoe struck twice and Peter Crouch grabbed another against the weak Andorrans.

Capello, agreeing it was a perfect performance, said: "I think so, we were very strong.

"We had two chances before Rooney scored the first goal. Always when you play against a team that is not strong, you have to start quickly, press and win back the ball. That is what we did.

"We didn't start well against Andorra last time we played them, we didn't score but we moved on, step by step. In the group we created a different style and in every game we improved.''

Although he was not on the scoresheet, Glen Johnson picked up the man-of-the-match award for his assists from the right flank.

"I think confidence is really important,'' Capello said. "When one player like Glen Johnson is in the international team it's important for him. He has improved a lot.''

Rooney admitted he has Sir Bobby Charlton's all-time England goalscoring record in his sights.

The Manchester United star said: "If I could beat Bobby Charlton's record, it would be a great achievement and I do have that record in mind. I have been delighted with the way the scoring has gone for me in the last few games and this has been my best season with England.

"But we have played well as a team, which is the most important thing, and I have always said that I have never based my game on goals alone. I love playing and getting on the ball and getting involved in the game and I am doing that - with the goals coming on top of that as well.

"Hopefully the goals will continue but we are performing as a team and I believe we have one foot in the World Cup finals now.''

England are now 10 points clear of both the Ukraine and Croatia and need a maximum of three points from their final three games to go through to South Africa.

Peter Crouch, who scored his 14th goal in 17 starts, said: "It is difficult when a team just comes here to defend but are difficult to break down.

"But it was important that we got the early goal because the longer the game goes on without a goal, the more nervous you get.

"The early goal settled us down and it turned out to be a fabulous end to the season.''

Crouch added: "It was difficult for me with the way they play, pulling shirts and holding me. It was difficult to get any sort of chances but I was glad to get on the score-sheet in the end.''

Jermain Defoe (2) and Frank Lampard completed the rout and England have scored 26 goals in their seven qualifiers.

Johnson claims confidence in the England camp is sky high.

"Morale couldn't be any higher,'' he said. "I think that showed out there today.''

The right-back admitted that last year, after England had laboured to victory over Andorra, he did not think they could win their opening seven qualifiers.

"Probably not,'' he said. "But obviously the lads have done that and they are focused.''

Johnson also thanked Capello for handing him a start ahead of Gary Neville.

He added: "I am over the moon. I am thankful to Capello for choosing me. I know I was on a booking and could have been suspended.''

England have a perfect record in qualifiers but Capello is still not preparing for the World Cup.

He told ITV: "You have to win another game to be sure of going to South Africa.

"We have created a group. This is important, the spirit of the group. We always play to win.''

Lampard added: "It was not as easy as it looked that game - they just sat back. We've found ourselves as a group. We always knew we had the individuals but were not working as a team.

"You can see the results on the pitch.''

Lampard dedicated the result to the "incredible'' supporters who made a potentially arduous journey to and from Wembley, and David Beckham added: "They deserved those goals because we all knew it wouldn't be easy to get to the game and those goals and the performance were for the fans.''