Rooney admits to stupidity and regret over red mist in Montenegro

The Manchester United striker will be forced to sit out the first two games of the Euro 2012 group stage after the incident but is confident his team-mates can deliver the goods
Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has expressed his frustration at having to sit on the sidelines for England's opening two Euro 2012 group games, after revealing his regret at getting sent off in Montenegro during the qualifiers.

Rooney was dismissed for kicking out at defender Miodrag Dzudovic during the 2-2 draw last year, but at least had his three-game ban reduced to two after a Uefa appeal hearing.

The 26 year-old revealed his thoughts on the incident as he told Times of India: "It was a stupid thing to do. I regretted it as soon as I did it. I honestly don't know why I did it; it was just one of those moments which I live to regret now."

England will be hoping to progress far in the tournament, but the two games Rooney will miss come against dark horses France and the Three Lions' bogey team, Sweden.

Both games represent difficult challenges from an early stage for England, but Rooney is confident that players will be able to deputise for him and produce top-level performances on the European stage.

He said: "We’ve got a big squad and a good squad so there's going to be players available to take over and play the first two games.

"I just have to make sure I’m in there, getting in amongst the players and getting in the spirit with the players for that first week."

Rooney believes that it is an exciting time to be involved with England, with new manager Roy Hodgson at the helm and a crop of the nation's finest talents emerging, as they look to win an inaugural European crown.

He said: "It’s nice for them to get the chance and they’ve all done well and that’s good for the future for England as well.

"With the young players coming in the team right now I'm confident we can be successful at Euros. In fact over the next 10 years we could have the chance to be successful and hopefully I can be part of that."

Rooney feels that his Manchester United team-mates Danny Welbeck, Phil Jones and Ashley Young can all play pivotal roles this summer.

He claimed: "They could be key players. They have done well for the Under-21s in the tournament just gone. The manager recognised that and brought them into the squad during qualifying. There's going to be a lot of competition for the Euros this time."

Each competitive tournament seems to bring bad luck with it for England in general and Rooney in particular. At Euro 2004 his tournament started impressively but ended when he was injured and substituted after 27 minutes of the quarter-final against Portugal, which England subsequently lost on penalties.

Two years later Rooney suffered a metatarsal injury just prior to the 2006 World Cup, recovered to play in a group match against Trinidad & Tobago but was then red-carded for stamping on Ricardo Carvalho in another quarter-final against Portugal, which England also lost in a penalty shoot-out.

The Three Lions failed to qualify for Euro 2008 under Steve McClaren, while at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, England's disappointing campaign included Rooney criticising England fans as he left the pitch after a lacklustre goalless draw with Algeria.

Rooney wants to set that record straight, collectively and personally.

"We all want to go there and do well, of course," he added. "To be honest in all the tournaments, apart from the first tournament at Euro 2004 maybe, the others have ended in disappointment for England and me personally as well.

"So it's something I want to put right."

Rooney is fully aware that his form at the last World Cup in South Africa wasn't up to scratch but believes he has matured and grown as a player since then.

He said: "As a younger player you have a few bad games, and it is hard to get over it but now that I’m more experienced I understand I will have a bad game, go through a few games without scoring, but I know if I keep doing the same things, keep it simple, I'll be back to my best.

"I feel good. It is always great to be in good form and scoring goals. Hopefully that form can continue at the Euros if I'm selected. I can't wait."

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