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Wayne Rooney to stay England captain

Press AssociationPress Association 2 days ago

Gareth Southgate began his four-year mandate as England manager by confirming Wayne Rooney would stay on as captain and promising to redefine the culture around the team.

Southgate officially turned his interim title into a permanent one on Wednesday but has long been the lone candidate and has had plenty of time to ponder his first steps in the job.

"Wayne is England captain," Southgate said.

"I think I said that at the beginning of the interim period but what's also clear is I've only selected him to start in two of the four matches we've had.

"Obviously it's not the case that Wayne expects to play every game.

"Wayne has played an important part for England up to this point and I'm sure he can do that in the future but we also have to develop others."

Southgate tried to temper his words about Rooney's recent night out and the subsequent media circus surrounding the actions of the England skipper.

"The important thing is we've got an opportunity to talk about environment and culture around the team. If we think we're good enough to play the best teams in the world and give ourselves a slight handicap along the way then good luck with that," Southgate said.

"We've got to make sure every opportunity to recover and to perform at our very best is taken.

"It (the players' conduct last month) is not disappointing because I think young people make decisions, and I made plenty of poor decisions when I was a young player. It's how you react and learn from those moments that's important.

"There have got to be clear guidelines but it's also important that players take some leadership in that. Look at elite teams and there's a clear process of players taking responsibility in what that looks like.

"I like to treat players with respect, treat them like adults and there has got to be trust between coach and players."

When negotiations began it was expected Southgate would receive a contract worth around GBP1.5million ($A2.6 million) a year with a break clause for both parties to review the arrangement after the 2018 World Cup.

But having moved into a position of strength after a 3-0 win over Scotland and an entertaining 2-2 draw against Spain, the 46-year-old was able to leverage more favourable terms.

His pay is thought to be nearer GBP2million ($A3.4 million), with performance-related incentives, and he was clear that his four-year deal came with no built-in caveats.

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