Hodgson: Rooney will be a future captain of England

The Three Lions boss backed the striker to shine at the World Cup after signing a new deal at Manchester United, and believes he can skipper the national side in the coming years

England manager Roy Hodgson is pleased that Wayne Rooney has now settled his long-term future by signing a new contract with Manchester United, and has backed the striker to be a future captain of the Three Lions.

The 28-year-old ended speculation linking him with a move to Chelsea by agreeing a reported £300,000-a-week deal at Old Trafford until June 2019, capping a big week with a fine goal in United's 2-0 win over Crystal Palace in Saturday.

Hodgson believes Rooney will be fully focused on the World Cup this summer, and with England's group opponents for the Euro 2016 qualification route now announced, the boss revealed he has not decided whether the United forward or Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard will captain the side in two years' time.

50/1 Wayne Rooney is 50/1 with Bet365 to be top scorer at the 2014 World Cup
"I trust Wayne. I think even if his future hadn’t been settled in this way he could have focused on the World Cup," he told Sky Sports.

"I don't have any doubts about him but it must be nice for him to know that he's committed his entire future of his playing years to Manchester United and England.

"At the moment I wouldn’t want to write [Rooney or Gerrard] off for the future. Steven Gerrard has been playing magnificently for Liverpool and has been a major factor in their season so far and Wayne has been playing well for United.

"I'l do my best to keep them going as long as they want to keep going and have the ability to keep going. Wayne I'm sure is a future captain for England.

"We are losing some of the very famous players from the past who have served England so well, so when Steven hangs up his boots Wayne will be straight in there I’m sure.”

England were drawn in Group E with Switzerland, Slovenia, Estonia, Lithuania and San Marino, and Hodgson revealed his deloght in being able to face Switzerland after coaching their national side between 1992 and 1995.

"I'm very satisfied - in particular for the fans," he continued. "We've had some quite tough trips to get to in recent years but there's some good places to visit.

"The name Switzerland always brings a smile to my face as they were fantastic years [he spent in charge]. It's a good team but it's also a good place to go and play."

Hodgson did express concern over UEFA's new 'Week of Football' format, which will see qualifiers spread out over six-day periods, with teams playing double-headers on Thursday and Sunday, Friday and Monday or Saturday and Tuesday.

"The thing I'm most concerned about is Thursday, Sunday," he added. "In our preparation we have to deal with matches on Sunday, which means we don't have the players to do any work with them before Tuesday."