Roy Hodgson has backed Wayne Rooney to break Bobby Charlton’s England goalscoring record during the European Championship campaign. The Manchester United striker is fifth on the list of England’s all-time scorers with 38 and needs another 12 to pass Charlton, whose club record of 249 is also in his sights as his own tally is 209.
Hodgson believes that England’s favourable draw gives Rooney the perfect opportunity to break the record in the next 18 months. and is planning to speak to him about using the target as a motivational tool.
“Wayne is still a long way behind Alan Shearer in the Premier League, but in terms of internationals he’s definitely up there,” Hodgson said.
“We would want that and I’m sure we will speak about it. I contacted him when he signed a new contract at United to congratulate him, that’s all, but we’ve got time together now.
“I find that when you’re talking to players as a national coach it’s a delicate balance. You can’t be ringing them up all the time with nothing to say. If I was to ring Wayne up and say, by the way, you’re close to Bobby Charlton’s national scoring record, he might say ... ‘I know’.
“But now we’ll be together for a longer period of time, that kind of thing might crop up in an everyday conversation and it’s quite good to have that. I’m looking forward to talking to the players a lot more than I have done in the last few months.”