Rooney insists England are good enough to win Euro 2012

Ahead of return in the Three Lions' final group game against Ukraine, the United forward is thankful at returning from suspension and describes playing with partner Danny Welbeck
Wayne Rooney believes England are more organised at Euro 2012 than they have ever been and have a good opportunity to win the tournament.

The talismanic forward is set to return from suspension for the Three Lions' final Group D match against Ukraine on Tuesday, with Roy Hodgson's team requiring a draw to reach the quarter-finals at the co-hosts’ expense.

"I think we’re good enough to win it," Rooney told reporters on Sunday. "Obviously you need a bit of luck as well, but I believe we’ve got a good opportunity.

"We’ve got the squad, we’re more organised than we ever have been and we’re hard to beat now. If we keep doing that and keep working hard then there’s no reason we can’t go really far."

The 26-year-old missed the first two matches of Euro 2012 after kicking out at Montenegro’s Miodrag Dzudovic in England's penultimate qualifying game and was left indebted to Fabio Capello for his role in reducing the resulting suspension from an initial three games.

"Being honest, if it had stayed at a three-game ban I wouldn't have expected to be here," he admitted. "I was delighted Capello fought so hard and I am grateful for that.

"I've been asked a few times about what happened with that red card. Even now, I honestly can't explain it. It's similar to [his sending-off in the World Cup quarter-final against Portugal] in 2006. It's not something I set out to do."

Rooney went on to insist that he could cope with returning to the national team against the co-hosts in the potentially hostile environment of the Donbass Arena in Donetsk.

"We’ve had to deal with this atmosphere on a lot of occasions," Rooney continued.

"What happened [in Montenegro] was a mistake. I understood that, I apologised to the guy and I’ve paid the price. There no problems with my attitude or my temperament. I’m happy and ready to play.

"I think it’s important that the first 20 minutes I feel my way into the game and make sure my touch is right and do the simple things rather than try too hard and trying the more difficult passes or trying to do too much.

"It’s important I feel my way into it and get towards the last half of the game and hopefully I can create and score goals."

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Rooney explained that the squad are happy under new manager Roy Hodgson, while shining a light on the side’s poor display at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa in which an uninspiring group display was followed by a convincing defeat to Germany in the last-16.

"In international tournaments I haven't been good enough," he conceded.

"There was a lot of talk and speculation that my ankle wasn’t right, but I actually was fit. I just had a bad tournament. Sometimes you’ve got to hold your hands up and admit that.

"I think all the players just feel this tournament feels a lot shorter, whereas South Africa felt like it was dragging out, a long tournament. We went to Austria for two weeks before the World Cup and by the time we got to the tournament your head has gone a bit already.

"Everyone has been fine [at Euro 2012]. All the squad are happy here. It is a happy camp at the moment. It helps everyone being English. There are no words lost in translation and we understand what the manager wants from us."

The Manchester United star could start alongside club team-mate Danny Welbeck in Tuesday’s game, and took the opportunity to describe the threat posed by the 21-year-old.

"Danny's biggest strength is running behind defences," Rooney explained. "He is so quick. If he gets behind you he is difficult to catch.

"He has got great feet and is also capable of coming short and linking in the play which leads me to get in behind. Defences don't know which player is going to go short or long.

"We obviously know each other. We’ve played well, but there have been times when we have not had the greatest games together.

"We have worked on the training pitch as well, which is important in understanding a player’s movement and his touch."

Rooney also revealed the words of advice he had for Welbeck before the striker bagged the winning goal in Friday’s 3-2 win over Sweden.

"It was a great goal," he enthused. "He was anxious at half-time because he wasn't getting any chances.

"I told him it was important that he bide his time and doesn’t get annoyed and he gets in the box and his chances will come."