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.
"It was a stupid thing to do," the forward said to the Times of India. "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 France and the Three Lions' bogey team, Sweden. Both games represent difficult challenges from an early stage for England, but Rooney is confident that the players will be able to deputise for him and produce top-level performances on the European stage.
"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," he said. "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.
"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," he claimed. "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 teammates Danny Welbeck, Phil Jones and Ashley Young can all play pivotal roles this summer.
"They could be key players," he said of his club mates. "They have done well for the Under-21s in the tournament just gone. The manager recognized that and brought them into the squad during qualifying. There's going to be a lot of competition for the Euros this time."
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