England boss Fabio Capello has given high praise to under pressure striker Wayne Rooney...England boss Fabio Capello has given high praise to under pressure striker Wayne Rooney after the Manchester United forward netted in the Euro 2012 qualifying victory over Switzerland.
Rooney, facing intense tabloid scrutiny following rumours of off-the-pitch indiscretions, opened the scoring as England held off a late Swiss rally to earn an impressive 3-1 away win to top Group G.
"I think we played, in the first half, fantastic football," Capello told Sky Sports.
"We won this game, it was really important to win and we played really, really well."
England went into the break a goal up after controlling proceedings, but after Adam Johnson doubled the lead, a Xherdan Shaqiri strike ensured a nail-biting finale before Darren Bent sealed victory with his first international goal.
"I was really happy with [the] first half," said Capello. "The second half we played probably too slow, the ball possession was too slow. I think after the second goal, 10 players against 11, it was easier."
The Italian tactician praised the performance and spirit of striker Rooney: "Yes, he scored a goal. It's important for him and for us, and the movement, like all of the players, was very good.
"Also, tactically he did some things very well, he pressed number 88 [Gokhan Inler], who was the most important player. I'm really happy with his performance."
Asked whether Rooney was able to handle the pressure, Capello replied: "Yes, you saw the game. I think he played well. He was always the centre of play, the centre of movement. I think the pressure was really strong for him, but he played very well."
In the build-up to Rooney's goal, Theo Walcott went down heavily and had to be stretched off, but Capello was assured that it will not be a serious injury, but could not confirm that the player had not broken a bone.
The Italian, who has faced strident criticism following a poor World Cup, responded to a question about whether the result had answered his critics by saying: "It is my job. If journalists criticise me, it's straight, always, without a problem."
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