Roy Hodgson suggests Wanye Rooney England return when fit

Roy Hodgson has suggested that Wayne Rooney will return to the England team when he's fit, despite the hugely impressive 3-2 victory over Germany on Saturday night achieved without the injured captain.

Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Jamie Vardy all excelled in Berlin, all in positions that Rooney might occupy, inevitably leading to thoughts that the England side might be better off without the Manchester United forward, currently sidelined with a knee injury.

However, while Hodgson stopped short of guaranteeing Rooney, who scored seven goals in England's 10 European Championship qualification games, will definitely be in his starting XI when England face Russia on June 11, he did heavily indicate that his skipper will return.

"I'm pretty sure that when Wayne is fit and comes back we will assess the situation," said Hodgson after the win in the Olympiastadion, claiming not to have thought too much about Rooney's place in the team.

"I have to repeat that Wayne is our captain, he's captained the team extremely well these last two years and taken us through a qualification campaign where we've had 10 wins out of 10, so it doesn't please me too much that whenever he gets injured and doesn't play it is suggested that he deserves to be jettisoned.

"He certainly doesn't deserve that, and when he comes back and is fit again he's going to be putting enormous pressure on these players, just as these players put enormous pressure on him. That's a situation we're looking forward to."

One man who surely will be in the team from the start is Tottenham midfielder Alli, who was the best player on the pitch in Berlin, continuing his brilliant form from the season so far at White Hart Lane.

"He was man of the match against France too, and what pleased me today is that he was able to come out and do exactly the same again, in perhaps even more difficult circumstances.

"At the moment all you can see with Dele is a very, very bright future. He's got to make certain he doesn't think he is the complete and finished article, because you can't be at 19 years of age, not if we're talking about winning or doing well in major tournaments.

"I'm not trying to detract from his performance -- we thought he was excellent. He's getting a lot of praise, and I hope he enjoys it, because he truly deserved it. Lothar Matthaus said he was the best player on the pitch -- now that's some praise indeed."

Alli excelled in two different positions on Saturday: initially in a No.10 role in a 4-2-3-1 system behind Kane, the man with whom he has developed a brilliant understanding at club level, and then after Vardy was introduced he played on the left [and occasionally right] of a midfield diamond.

The Spurs midfielder is at least part of the reason why England have plenty of options in terms of their formation, something that will clearly give Hodgson plenty of reason for optimism.

"We [Hodgson and his coaching staff] like both the systems we have, and we often have quite big debates about which one shall we start with," he said.

"But the good thing is we can always change from one to the other in the course of the game, and the players are quite au fait with what the differences are. It doesn't change our principles, but there are slight differences."

Hodgson struck a note of caution, saying England must not get carried away with the victory, but also asked for his team to be given due credit for it as well.

"I certainly would be disappointed if people dismiss it and say in some way Germany were not up for the game," he said. "We were very close to their bench and their players, and they found it difficult to deal with our pressing.

"That gives us encouragement. We want to keep going forward with this team. The team has pace, mobility, lot of legs, a lot of heart and in my opinion a fair amount of technique as well."