England can rely on Rooney - Hodgson

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The Three Lions captain reacted to what appeared to be an elbow from Bostjan Cesar by scoring his side's decisive third goal in Ljubljana on Sunday

Wayne Rooney's match-winning display against Slovenia proves he is a man England can rely on, according to Roy Hodgson.

The Manchester United star missed two gilt-edged chances in Sunday's Euro 2016 qualifier in Ljubljana but picked himself up to score England's decisive third goal after strikes from Milivoje Novakovic and Nejc Pecnik had cancelled out a spectacular double from Jack Wilshere.

Rooney's 48th international goal brings him within one of Sir Bobby Charlton's all-time scoring record in an England shirt but Hodgson was just as impressed with his captain's discipline when appearing to be elbowed by Bostjan Cesar in the second half.

"Wayne Rooney's performance says a lot of things about him as a man," Hodgson told reporters after a victory that sent his side nine points clear at the top of Group E.

"Just before he took that chance he took a nasty blow from an elbow, which could have decked many a player and led to him losing his discipline. It didn't and he got up.

"The fact one or two chances had gone begging, when the ball fell to him he still stuck it away with aplomb. We can rely on that man. I'd have liked him to get a hat-trick today so all the talk of the record would be finished, but he has plenty of time.

"I've not studied the [elbow] incident. We thought at the time it could have been a penalty. But the referee handled the game well.

“They're a strong, physical, aggressive team. Fabian Delph has an elbow to his jaw, and Raheem Sterling took a nasty kick at the end of the game as well."

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