Wayne Rooney, England’s two-goal hero against Switzerland, believes England will improve at Euro 2004 as the tournament progresses.
Rooney became the youngest-ever scorer at the finals of the European Championship, eclisping Yugoslavia’s Dragan Stojkovich, when he opened the scoring in England’s 3-0 win.
“I think we can perform a lot better than we did against the Swiss, the 18-year-old told the BBC.
“But the good sign for us is that if you win without performing as well as you can, things can only get better.
“We were a bit nervous, but once we got the goals we settled down and after the second went in we knew we would win.”
“We were all disappointed after what happened to us against France and to come back and win against Switzerland means it was a very big day for us.”
Team-mate Frank Lampard believes Rooney will emerge as a key figure in England’s campaign.
“Wayne played well against France and did the same again against Switzerland, adding two goals this time,” he said.
“We all think he is going to be a real big weapon for us.”
England captain David Beckham was another to heap praise on the youngster.
“There was a spell in the first half when he was getting kicked from behind.
“After he scored, a few players went over and said ‘that’s the way to show your frustration – by scoring goals’ and that’s what he’s done.”
“Wayne was very good and got two goals, which will get the headlines, but I thought the team did very well.
The Croatians, Meanwhile, Croatia, who need to beat England in the final Group B game on Monday, have already identified the Everton youngster as the player to watch.
Defender Robert Kovac said: “Who will be the most dangerous player? Rooney, of course.”