Walcott backs Rooney to make impact

Wayne Rooney is tipped to start against Ukraine on Tuesday after his ban finished

Wayne Rooney is tipped to start against Ukraine on Tuesday after his ban finished

First published in National Sport © by

Theo Walcott is backing Wayne Rooney to "make up for lost time" during the remainder of Euro 2012 despite the contribution of Andy Carroll and Danny Welbeck to the 3-2 win over Sweden on Friday night.

Carroll and Welbeck both hit the target - as well at Walcott - as England recovered from 2-1 down put themselves in a position of needing just a point against Ukraine in Donetsk on Tuesday for a quarter-final place.

But England head coach Roy Hodgson has already stated his intention to bring back Rooney after serving a two-game ban for his red card in the qualifier against Montenegro. Walcott said: "I am sure Wayne will get his opportunity. He'll want to make up for time he's missed. He will want to make it up to all of the lads. He is such a world-class player."

He added: "It would be tough to leave him out but that's the manager's decision. We'll see what happens."

Walcott came off the bench to score England's second goal and then crossed for Welbeck to net the winner with a brilliant back heel.

He said: "That chance was massive but Danny made it look easy. It was class, probably one of the best goals at this tournament and I am not just saying that because he's my friend.

"That goal had everything and shows that, despite being at such a young age he can do the business."

Walcott's goal was his first for his country since netting a hat-trick in the 4-0 win over Croatia in Zagreb in a World Cup qualifier in 2008.

His equaliser was reminiscent of the way Cristiano Ronaldo was able to score with dipping shots during his days at Manchester United.

Walcott said: "I thought the shot took a deflection which is why my celebration was little bit odd but I've seen it again and it didn't. I didn't know I had that sort of Ronaldo dip in me. I should try it more often."


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