England manager Roy Hodgson has praised the work-rate and desire of captain Wayne Rooney as he gets set to win his 100th international cap.
Rooney will become the ninth player to reach that landmark - and fourth during Hodgson's tenure - if he features in next Saturday's Euro 2016 qualifier with Slovenia.
The Manchester United forward was named as skipper by Hodgson following Steven Gerrard's retirement from international football in July, but has faced criticism from certain quarters in recent times for his performances in an England shirt.
However, Hodgson is full of praise for the 29-year-old, who he believes has progressed as a player since being handed the armband.
"Since he has been made captain, I think he has taken an even further step, both at Manchester United and with us," Hodgson said.
"He's really taken on this job as captain with enormous seriousness. He's studied and talked a lot with Steven Gerrard.
"He spends a lot of time with the younger players. And obviously with me he's very good. If there's anything he thinks I should be made aware of, he makes me aware of it.
"Every time he gets on the field, he really does work hard.
"Even when we are not playing as well as I think we can play, it's very rare that I can look at him and think 'you're not working hard enough'.
"I would defy anyone to fault his work-rate, his desire, if they watch the game carefully and study what he does."
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