Rooney hails Welbeck quality

England centurion Wayne Rooney paid tribute to Danny Welbeck after his strike partner starred in Saturday's 3-1 win over Slovenia.

Captain Rooney walked onto the Wembley pitch for the Euro 2016 Group E qualifier flanked by his two sons before being presented with a commemorative gold cap by England’s record goalscorer Sir Bobby Charlton to celebrate his 100th international appearance.

A 59th-minute penalty from the Manchester United forward moved him to 44 England goals - five shy of Charlton's benchmark - and cancelled out the Jordan Henderson own goal that saw Slovenia lead against the run of play two minutes earlier.

Welbeck then took centre stage with his fourth and fifth goals of the qualifying campaign to extend England's 100 per cent record to four matches.

United manager Louis van Gaal suggested Welbeck was not on the same level as Old Trafford counterparts Rooney, Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao after electing to sell the player to Arsenal earlier this season.

But Rooney holds the 23-year-old in the highest regard.

"He doesn't have to prove [anything] to anyone," he told ITV. "He's shown he’s a top forward.

"The more games he plays he's getting better. He's scoring goals for England, for Arsenal. He deserves all the credit he gets because he’s a fantastic football player."

The comeback meant England recorded five consecutive victories for the first time in six years and Rooney believes a new winning mentality is there for all to see on the back of World Cup disappointment earlier this year.

"At the moment we've got a good winning mentality," he said. "I think you saw that after we went 1-0 down.

"We knew it was going to be a tough night, even tougher after they scored, but the character we showed was great.

"That winning mentality is with us and we believe we're going to win every game."

The character shown by Roy Hodgson's team meant Rooney was allowed to reflect fondly on a memorable outing personally.

"It's a special night for me," he added. "It's a great honour to represent England 100 times and hopefully there's many more to come.

"To walk out with my two boys is something no one can ever take away from me."