Euro 2016: England captain Wayne Rooney says boss Roy Hodgson was right to rest him

Media playback is not supported on this device

Euro 2016: England must be ruthless v Iceland - Wayne Rooney

Captain Wayne Rooney insists the England players "respected" manager Roy Hodgson's decision to make six changes for Monday's 0-0 draw with Slovakia.

There were reports that Rooney, who came on as a second-half substitute, was surprised at being left out.

But he insisted England were "a happy camp at the moment".

He added: "I respect Roy's decision. As a player, you want to play, but going into the last-16 game against Iceland I'll be a lot fresher."

As well as Rooney, Hodgson also chose to leave out Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, Dele Alli, Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane for Monday's final Group B game.

The draw meant England lost out on top spot to Wales.

They now face Iceland on Monday for a place in the quarter-finals of Euro 2016, while Wales meet Northern Ireland on Saturday.

"I think it's a decision that Roy had to make in terms of keeping players fresh and believing in the squad he has got," added Rooney.

"I agree with it. The players that came in were good enough to win the game but you have to give credit to the opposition because they defended very well."

Media playback is not supported on this device

Euro 2016: Best goals of the group stage

Rooney, leading England at a major tournament for the first time, will win his 115th cap on Monday, equalling David Beckham's record for an outfield player.

"I've said many times that it is a huge honour to captain my country and something I try and do to the best of my ability and with a lot of pride," he said.

England drew with both Russia and Slovakia either side of their last-minute 2-1 win over Wales.

Their lack of cutting edge led former England captain Alan Shearer to claim that no teams will be scared of playing England in the knockout stages.

However, Rooney, 30, thinks differently.

"In my eyes, the group games have been good because we could have got false hope if we'd won all of them 2-0 or 3-0," said the Manchester United player.

"We're confident and we believe we can go to the end of this competition. If we play our best, we can give anyone a game and win."

Media playback is not supported on this device

Highlights: Slovakia 0-0 England

'We will look after Sterling'

England assistant manager Ray Lewington told BBC Radio 5 live's Ian Dennis on Monday that winger Raheem Sterling was "hurt" by jeers from the crowd as he was substituted against Wales.

The Manchester City attacker didn't play against Slovakia and Lewington said the England camp would "try and look after him" and "ease him back in".

"We all love him," said Lewington. "We can't dictate to fans what they do, but Raheem is a really valued part of the squad and it's not nice to see him being booed.

"It does hurt, they are human beings, they feel things, particularly when they're young. It wasn't nice. But he's got to start handling that."

Rooney also defended Sterling, saying he was not "struggling as much as people are making out".

Top Stories