Rooney praises Welbeck's performance against Belgium

The striker hailed the performance of his domestic and international team-mate before insisting that he is expecting to have to fight for his place back in the team after his ban

Wayne Rooney has praised fellow England and Manchester United forward Danny Welbeck as he scored his first goal for his country to beat Belgium on Saturday.

The 26-year-old is suspended for the Three Lions’ opening two group games, therefore Welbeck is competing with Andy Carroll and Jermain Defoe for a starting role in the games against France and Sweden.

And Rooney has welcomed the impact the youngster has had on the squad.

"Danny has done very well.” Rooney told Sky Sports. "It's great to see him in the squad and great to see him get his first goal tonight.

"I think his loan spell at Sunderland certainly helped. He came back bigger and stronger and he started a lot of games for United this season and did really well.”

Despite his imposed absence, Rooney is confident England can hit the ground running in their opening two games.

And the striker claimed that he is not expecting to be handed a place straight back in the starting lineup come the conclusion of his suspension.

"I'm confident we're capable of beating France and Sweden," said Rooney. "We've certainly got the squad of players.

"You need some luck in those games but we're confident - you've got to be confident. If you are not then there's no point turning up. I hope I can work hard and keep on showing the manager what he wants to see. So, hopefully, I can get back in the team."

Pleased with his 37-minute run-out against Belgium on Saturday, Rooney is confident he is in good shape for next week’s tournament, after a three-week break from match action, and is enjoying a well-earned rest before rejoining the England squad.

"It was a good run out, a bit longer than I expected.” he continued. “It was nice to get back on the pitch to play. It's important to rest after a long season - it's nice to get that break.

"He [Roy Hodgson] did offer me another week off, basically, but I didn't think it would be fair for me to join up with the team and meet them just as we're flying out to Poland. I want to be part of the squad."

Follow GOAL.COM USA on