Fabio Capello was pleased with the manner in which Wayne Rooney dealt with the pressure of his off-field problems during England’s 3-1 Euro 2012 qualifying victory over Switzerland.
The striker has come under scrutiny following allegations about his private life in the weekend newspapers and it was suggested that he might not play in Basel.
The 24-year-old brushed aside the idea that he was not mentally prepared to play by scoring the opening goal in a 3-1 victory in Switzerland to leave England top of qualifying Group G with six points from their opening two games.
“I think he played well,” said Capello. “He was always at the centre of the play, the centre of the movement.
“I think the pressure was really strong on him, but he played very well.
“The players want to play without other things on their minds. They can focus on the game alone. He did that. He and the others were happy at the end.”
Capello played Rooney just behind striker Jermain Defoe in the 4-0 win over Bulgaria last Friday and used him in the same position against Switzerland.
“He played in a position that he played against Bulgaria, in the hole,” added Capello.
“This position is good for him. It’s easy for him to get into positions to shoot at goal.”
Capello was delighted with the team’s display in a fixture regarded as England’s toughest test in a relatively straightforward-looking qualifying group that also contains Bulgaria, Wales and Montenegro.
Capello said: “I think we played, in the first half, fantastic football.
“This game was very important to win, but we played really, really well. I was really happy after the first half.
“The performance of the team in the first half was one of the best of the last two years.
“To play here against Switzerland is not easy. The fans, the stadium, the pitch, everything makes it very difficult to play here.
“But we played very well and with confidence and that is very important.”
“The second half we probably played too slow, and I think after the second goal and [the sending off] it was more easier.”