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Rooney ready to stop firing blanks for England

Sports Desk |
Update: 2010-06-16 15:53:10

RUSTENBURG, South Africa: Misfiring England striker Wayne Rooney may not have found the net for the national team in nine months, but he has retained an utter, if not blind belief, in his potential to score this week.

The 24-year-old Manchester United forward told reporters on Wednesday that he had seen no team to fear at these World Cup finals and believed that, if partnered again with Emile Heskey, would lead England to victory over Algeria.

"Our partnership created problems, and chances, against America last time and I am sure if we play again on Friday we will create problems for Algeria," he said. "We are looking forward to it and getting all three points."

Rooney, 24, scorer of 25 goals in 61 appearances, last struck for England in a 5-1 victory over Croatia at Wembley on September 9 last year while Heskey, 32, has failed to score for England in more than year.

His last goal came in Kazakhstan, in a 4-0 win, on June 6, last year. He has scored seven goals in 59 appearances.

"I am not worried about it (not scoring)," said Rooney. "We have got players in the team who can score goals, but I know that for us to do well, I need to play better and score some goals. But if the team do well, then I will be happy."

England meet the north Africans in Cape Town on Friday, but after an uninspiring display in a 1-1 draw against the United States in their group C opener last Saturday, have yet to offer much to justify their self-confidence.

Manager Fabio Capello last Friday said that he believed his team would reach next month`s World Cup final. Rooney said England had no fear.

"No, there is no fear from us," said Rooney. "We took the game to them and we are not playing with fear at all. For myself, I hope to play and I hope I score - don`t get me wrong. But as long as we get three points, I`m happy."

Asked about other teams that he has watched on television, Rooney said he had not been shaken or stirred.

"Germany looked good and I was impressed with the Ivory Coast`s discipline, " he said. "Brazil were very solid in defence and have a lot of flair going forward. They will be hard to beat. But there has not been a stand-out team so far, bar Germany. But we are confident we will do well and qualify from the group.

"To be honest, it`s not been that exciting so far. I`m hoping it gets more exciting!"

Rooney is expected to lead the attack in England`s familiar 4-4-2 formation against Algeria with midfielder Gareth Barry returning after an ankle injury to anchor midfield, releasing captain Steven Gerrard for a roving role from the left flank.

BDST: 1232hrs, June 17, 2010

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