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Allardyce: Too early to make captaincy decision

New England boss Sam Allardyce would not commit to Wayne Rooney retaining the international captaincy as he was introduced by the national team.

The 61-year-old left Sunderland to sign a two-year deal with the Football Association on Friday, replacing Roy Hodgson after he resigned following a dismal last-16 exit to Iceland at Euro 2016.

Rooney was named captain after the 2014 World Cup and was skipper for the European Championship in France – his first major tournament leading the team – but Allardyce wants to wait before making a final decision on who will wear the armband.

Asked if Rooney would remain captain, he said: “That is far too early to make any predictions or decisions and I’m going to leave that until I meet all the players and get coaching staff behind the scenes.

“It is the first day getting my feet under the table and meeting everyone.”

Allardyce has been touched by the reaction he has received since taking over having missed out on the job to Steve McClaren back in 2006.

He continued: I think that from my point of view what hit me the most was the overwhelming support from all areas over the last few days, the goodwill messages I have had not only from friends in and outside the game but the nation as a whole.

“That gives me a very warm feeling about taking this position and I am very proud to be named England manager. I look forward to the task in hand, qualifying for the World Cup and moving on from there.”

Allardyce revealed that Sammy Lee, who worked with him at Bolton Wanderers, is joining his coaching team and also thanked Sunderland for helping him to reach his dream job.

“Sammy is joining me for the second time which is pleasing because we had a great time at Bolton and I’m going to rely on his international experience,” he said.

“It’s ironic that less than 12 months ago I was sat in Spain thinking what’s the next venture and luckily for me I got fed up quickly because football is everything to me and I couldn’t leave it alone.

“I have to thank everybody at Sunderland for the opportunity. The success of saving the football club put me in the public eye for this position and I had a really good time at Sunderland, the fans were magnificent for me and I thank them all for that.

“Hopefully the England fans will enjoy my time with them as much as the Sunderland fans.”


Ajike is one of Nigeria's top Sportscasters with over 15 years of experience in writing and talking Sports.

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