English forward Wayne Rooney has vowed to make a good impression on new manager Roy Hodgson as he prepares to start the UEFA EURO 2012 on the sidelines.
Rooney is suspended for England's first two group matches against France and Sweden, but the Manchester United star is still desperate to have a major impact on the tournament, which starts in Poland and Ukraine next month.
Hodgson is likely to start the finals with Liverpool striker Andy Carroll as his lone forward with Ashley Young operating in the hole behind him. But Hodgson has ear-marked Rooney as the right man to fill that deep-lying role when he returns from the ban and the forward is keen to prove he can do the job after joining up with England's squad for training this week following an extended holiday.
"I feel good and I've got a few weeks before I can play. I will be ready if needed," Rooney told Sky Sports News on Wednesday. "It's important I do my training right. I've had a long time to think about missing these games and obviously it's disappointing. But it's something I've dealt with really.
"With missing the first two games, you never know with the new manager if he's got you in his plans or wants to have (the same) players involved in all the games. But I will get myself ready and as fit as I can be. It's a tough group with some good teams. We have to make sure we're focused on each game and take it from there."
Rooney has only had a couple of days to get used to Hodgson's managerial style, but he has so far been impressed with the way the former West Bromwich Albion manager conducts himself in training sessions.
"He's determined to get the message across to us on the training pitch and is very much a part of every training session," Rooney said. "It's great to have him on the pitch, pointing out things maybe we need to know as a squad."