Rooney looks to move on from Rome

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Football News

England forward Wayne Rooney vowed to forget his Champions League disappointment a week ago but has to wait until Saturday to get it fully out of his system.

Defeat by Barcelona in Rome gave the Manchester United player a taster of how good Spain will be at the World Cup next year, a tournament England will be within sight of if they beat Kazakhstan at the weekend and Andorra the following Wednesday.

"We were disappointed to lose the game," Rooney said. "To be honest, we decided to forget about it the next day and try to concentrate on these England games. I'm delighted now I have a chance to put that to the back of my mind. It would be nice to get a win with England and a goal or two. We're looking forward to this game."

A comfortable victory is expected at Central Stadium in Almaty, although the bigger picture is Fabio Capello gelling a team ready for South Africa next year.

Rooney's role is as a forward, just behind Emile Heskey, until he interchanges mid-match with Steven Gerrard on the left flank.

"We've worked on it a lot," Rooney said. "We've spoken, me and Steven, and we're enjoying it. We're getting involved. We're scoring goals, making goals. Hopefully that can continue.

"I've really enjoyed it. Emile has done a great job holding the ball up and it gives the likes of me and Steven the chance to get in space, get on the ball and do what we like doing best - scoring goals and creating goals. That is how it's been for the last few games."

It is the system that will look to get the best out of Capello's most creative players and hopefully match the likes of Spain's Xavi and Andres Iniesta, who Rooney faced last week.

Kazakhstan is a trip to the unknown for the England squad in their most draining competitive fixture since the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan.

The grass at the stadium could be longer than Premier League standards and there is also the effect of jetlag after flying to a country that borders with China, with Rooney combating it by staying awake on the flight over and getting a long sleep on arrival.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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European News
Emile Heskey
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Manchester United
Wayne Rooney
Steven Gerrard

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