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England boss Allardyce defends midfield role for Man Utd star Rooney

England manager Sam Allardyce defended his decision to play Wayne Rooney in a midfield role.

Allardyce suggested he would refrain from deploying the the Three Lions captain in such a position when he took the job a few months ago but had him in a three-man midfield alongside Eric Dier and Jordan Henderson, and then Dele Alli, in Sunday's 1-0 win over Slovakia.

After the match, Allardyce indicated that Rooney did his job as England kicked off their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign with an away victory.

"He played a little deeper when we brought Dele Alli on and played not quite as deep when we had Jordan Henderson on as they were supposed to take it in turns to break forward but Wayne finds the space," he told Sky Sports News HQ.

"I can't tell him where to run because he's been one of the best his whole career at finding good space, promoting good passing forward and creating chances.

"Yes, we want to get him in goal scoring positions a bit more but today it doesn't matter because we've won 1-0."

Adam Lallana scored his first international goal for England with a 95th-minute strike to give his country a winning start in Group F.

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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