England's unbeaten Euro 2012
squad feel more relaxed and confident under new manager Roy
Hodgson because he is English and nothing gets "lost in
translation", striker Wayne Rooney said on Sunday.
In his first appearance at a news conference at the England
squad's media centre in Krakow, the talismanic forward confirmed
he was fully fit, relieved to be available after serving a
two-match ban and unfazed by facing a hostile Ukrainian crowd in
Donetsk on Tuesday.
"We've been to a lot of stadiums around the world and we've
had to deal with a big atmosphere on a lot of occasions," Rooney
said. "I think we are big enough and experienced enough to deal
England need a draw in their final Group D game against the
co-hosts to be certain of reaching the quarter-finals.
"Are we feeling more relaxed than at the World Cup?" said
Rooney. "Yes, I would say so... we are more relaxed. It helps
all the coaching staff being English and no words are lost in
"We all understand what the manager wants."
Rooney's comments were a reminder of the much stricter
atmosphere around the England squad under former manager Fabio
Capello who resigned in February.
The Italian chose a remote and spartan sports centre near
Rustenburg as England's base for the 2010 World Cup in South
Africa and fostered a sterile mood that was partly blamed for a
series of poor performances culminating in a 4-1 thrashing by
Capello, surrounded by a small phalanx of four Italian
assistant coaches who also helped with translation, insisted on
an arduous preparation programme and intensive work during the
Rooney said Hodgson's style was far easier for the players.
"We are having a lot more rest, more down time," he said,
adding that this allowed them to escape from the tournament and
forget about football when they wanted.
England are based in one of Krakow's most comfortable
boutique hotels, just a short stroll from the ancient city
centre's famous Rynek Glowny (Market Place).
"He understands what we want too," said Rooney, who has
avoided any temptation that might have led to his photograph
appearing in one of London's tabloid newspapers for non-sporting
He admitted finding watching the opening two group games
against France and Sweden tough.
"It is much more difficult to watch those games than to
play," he said. "If you are sat in the stands there is nothing
you can do.
"But if you are on the pitch, you can try to change the
Rooney also confirmed he had worked to overcome a problem
with his temperament in the last year and was relieved to have
served his two-match ban.
"I think I have been in control all season," he said. "I
made a mistake [when he was sent off during a qualifier in
Montenegro] and I apologised to the guy and I've had to pay for
"Now, though, I am ready to play and I don't have a problem
with my attitude and temperament. When I was given a three-game
ban, of course I didn't think I would be here so I am happy it
was made two - and I am here and I am excited."
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