Marcus Rashford explains what Rooney did after England's Euro 2016 exit

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England fans have been trying to erase the memory of the shock 2-1 defeat to Iceland at Euro 2016 ever since the referee blew the final whistle on that ill-fated evening last June.

Goals from Ragnar Sigurdsson and Kolbeinn Sigthorsson condemned Roy Hodgson's men to one of the most embarrassing defeats in England's history after Wayne Rooney had initially given the favourites the lead.

After so much pre-tournament hype about the amount of players in good form as the competition kicked off in France, yet again the Three Lions bottled it on the big occasion.

The devastation on the players' faces was there for all to see and you can imagine just how depressing the atmosphere must have been inside the dressing room at full-time.

Marcus Rashford, who came on for the final five minutes in Nice, has provided some insight on the mood within camp.

Upon the launch of England's latest away kit, the Manchester United forward reflected on what must represent the lowest point of his brief career to date and revealed how the captain Wayne Rooney consoled the players.

Of course, being one of the most experienced men in the squad, Rooney had previous experience of exiting a major tournament and reassured those who had been left most distraught by the result.

"When we were knocked out by Iceland at Euros, it was a massive disappointment," Rashford wrote in The Players' Tribune.

"We were all sitting around in the dressing room after the match, not sure what to think. But then Wayne gets up. And he says one thing - 'Keep your head up. We’ve got a lot to fight for in the future.'

"But he says it to each individual person. One by one, he goes up to us and looks us in the eye - 'Keep your head up. Look forward.'"

While Rooney's lack of form and fitness has seen him miss out on Gareth Southgate's latest squad, Rashford is in contention to play against Germany and Lithuania this week.

The nature of international football means England could potentially eradicate their Nice nightmare with a strong showing in Russia at the World Cup next year.

Of course, Southgate's men have to qualify first. After four games in Group F England are top with 10 points but both Slovenia and Slovakia are still close enough to pounce if the favourites slip up.

Rashford remains confident about their chances and wants to ensure the current crop of players can leave a positive lasting legacy.

He added: "So that’s where we are now. Our heads are up and we’re fighting for the future. I know I’m young — the whole squad is quite young — but we want to make history in the time we’ve got.

"We know that when people look back on our team, it’s the trophies that they are going to judge us on."

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England Football
Euro 2016
Marcus Rashford

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