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Rooney pitching for progress

Wayne Rooney is confident that England can seal Euro 2008 qualification with victory in Russia on Wednesday.

The United striker was part of the side that secured a goalless draw in similar circumstances against Turkey just over five years ago, and he is certain that England can overcome the hurdle of Russia's plastic pitch to book a place at next summer's finals.

"We know if we get three points then we've qualified," he said. "I'm sure it will be difficult and with a plastic pitch, we will not be used to it. But we won't make excuses if we win or lose – we just need to do our job.

"It's a similar situation to when we played Turkey a few years ago to qualify for the last European Championships. We went out there and did a job and I am confident we can do the same again."

Rooney scored his first competitive England goal since 2004 in Saturday's 3-0 victory over Estonia at Wembley, and the mercurial striker was predictably elated to be back on target.

"I'm delighted to score at any time, but it has been a long time," he said. "As a striker, if you don't score, it does play on your mind a bit, but as long as we kept on winning I didn't mind too much. I'm delighted to score, but I'm happier with the three points.â€

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