RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — As England endures its worst World Cup for more than 50 years, Wayne Rooney wants his teammates to remember the pain of this debacle.
Less than a week into its Brazil campaign, England is already out of contention after losses to Italy and Uruguay. Not since 1958 had England failed to make it to the second round of a World Cup it qualified for.
“It’s vital we take the pain we are feeling now and remember that and the next tournament we don’t want to feel that again,” Rooney said Saturday.
“Obviously we are hurting,” the striker added. “We are really disappointed to be out of the tournament. I am sure you can imagine it’s quite tough, a long few days for us.”
The players will sign off with a Group D finale against surprise leader Costa Rica on Tuesday when Rooney wants the team’s pride restored.
“These next few days will be tough, but we have to be strong together as a team,” Rooney said. “We have to make sure we are positive for the next game.”
For goalkeeper Joe Hart, England’s 2-1 losses in Brazil are his worst moments in football.
“It’s a strange empty feeling,” Hart said. “This is ultimately really cruel and gutting for me.”
Roy Hodgson is set to remain in charge going forward, with the Football Association asking the coach to see out his contract to the 2016 European Championship. And Rooney can see progress under Hodgson, who took charge before Euro 2012.
“He has brought a great enthusiasm to the team … Roy is the man to take us forward,” Rooney said. “We appreciate what he has done for us. He has changed the way we have played.”
Rob Harris can be followed at www.twitter.com/RobHarris