Welbeck confident he can fill in for Rooney at Euro 2012

The Manchester United striker believes he can deputise for his club-mate, who must serve a two-match suspension, in England's Group D games against France and Sweden
Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck believes that he can step into Wayne Rooney's shoes for the opening two games at Euro 2012 this summer.

Welbeck and Rooney have struck up a good partnership and understanding up front for United this term and their haul of 36 goals between them was an impressive return on a first full season together.

The 21-year-old star acknowledges that he could not have progressed as far as he has without the help of Rooney, and is revelling in his role alongside him.
The Manchester United defender has revealed his disappointed at missing Euro 2012

He told The Sun: “I owe Wayne a lot. He has been a terrific friend and a brilliant help to me. We have really forged a great partnership.

“And he is amazing during a game. He never stops yapping in my ear, telling me, ‘Daniel this’ and ‘Daniel that’.

“Wayne’s funny like that, he calls me Daniel on the pitch, even though most people call me Danny. Yet off the pitch it’s Danny or Welbz. Don’t ask me why.

“I’m so lucky he wants me to do well and is always trying to advise what’s best for me.

“You can’t buy that sort of insight. He knows what it’s like as a young player coming through in the Premier League and with England.

“Most people might not see this in him but he’s a real gentleman, too. They only see him on the pitch where he’s always very passionate and a fiery character.

“But if they could meet him they’d actually find he’s a really nice man.”

England manager Roy Hodgson is expected to experiment with various forward lines in the upcoming friendlies against Norway and Belgium and Welbeck understands how Rooney's absence could affect the side.

He said: “It’s a massive blow that Wayne is not available for the first two games. If I’m called upon to replace him it will be a real challenge, but I’ll take it in my stride.

“When I got the text from the FA to say I was in the squad it took a while to sink in. I didn’t ring anyone right away, I just sat on my own taking it all in. But then I went home and enjoyed the moment with my family."

The talented youngster is clearly confident in his own ability and is not fazed by the pressures of delivering the goods for his country.

"I owe Wayne a lot. He has been a terrific friend and a brilliant help to me. We have really forged a great partnership" - Welbeck

Welbeck added: “In a way, it’s a natural progression for me. I’ve played for England Under-16s through to the Under-21s and now the full squad. I know some may worry that I’m only 21 but I have come up through the ranks — and I have met, and overcome, every challenge along the way.

“I was playing for England Under-16s when I was only 14. I was only a teenager when I first broke into United’s first team and when I played in my first cup final. So I have already proved I can step up and meet a challenge.

“I’m the sort who believes if you are good enough, you are old enough. And I won’t be worried or nervous about playing for England in the Euros.

“It might sound odd but I will try and treat it as just another game, like the hundreds of other games I have played."

It was actually a tip from United's youth-team coach that Welbeck has taken on board throughout his career and that he hopes will serve him well this summer.

He revealed: “United’s youth-team coach Paul McGuinness taught me that valuable lesson a long time ago.

“He was always telling me, ‘Play the game, not the occasion’ and that’s been brilliant advice.

“So that’s exactly what I’ll be aiming to do for England in the finals.”

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