Updated: Friday, 3rd April 2020 @ 6:26pm

Manchester United's Tom Cleverley hails Wayne Rooney's desperation to succeed as perfect captain trait

Manchester United's Tom Cleverley hails Wayne Rooney's desperation to succeed as perfect captain trait

By Dean Wilkins

Wayne Rooney’s desperation to always win is what makes him a perfect England captain, insists his Manchester United teammate Tom Cleverley.

The 26-year-old striker wore the armband for his first competitive match during their 5-0 thumping of San Marino on Friday.

And although Steven Gerrard will reclaim his role as skipper against Poland tomorrow, both Roy Hodgson and Cleverley are backing Rooney as a leader in waiting.

"When you want to win badly you'll do anything to achieve it," said Cleverley. "If people need telling, even in training, Wazza's not afraid to do it.

“If I'm on his team and we're not winning he'll let me know."

United had four players in Hodgson’s starting XI and could have seen injured Chris Smalling and Phil Jones feature if they were fit.

And with four goals coming from Rooney and Danny Welbeck, Cleverley praised his relationship with the young England No. 9 after rising through the academy ranks together.

"We've known each other for many years now," said the 23-year-old.

"I've been at the club since I was 11 and he's been there since he was nine, so we've built up a relationship over the years, both on and off the pitch.

"I feel comfortable playing with him."

England travel to Warsaw tomorrow to face Poland as they look to continue their solid start to World Cup qualification.

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