Rooney gets Southgate backing

Interim England manager Gareth Southgate praised the performance of Wayne Rooney after the Manchester United man was booed at Wembley during the Three Lions' 2-0 win over Malta.

Rooney started the match and captained the England national team despite many fans feeling his form over the last season and a half do not justify his inclusion in the team.

They voiced their displeasure with an audible chorus of booing anytime the striker-turned-midfielder went anywhere near the ball.

However, Southgate feels they are being overly critical of Rooney and felt he had a big impact on the victory.

"The criticism of him is at times unfair," the England coach said after the game. "He ploughs on and plays with pride and captains his country with pride.

"I look back to John Terry, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole. In their time with England they took an enormous amount of criticism and yet when you look at the number of caps they got they were the guys that kept turning out.

"They were the ones that really put themselves on the line when some other players would not put themselves forward in those moments and withdrew from squads when the going got tough.

"Those guys are the ones that desperately wanted to play for England again and again and put their neck on the block. I think Wayne falls into that category.

"The booing? I don't understand it but that seems to be the landscape and I have no idea how that's expected to help him."