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Captain Rooney praises England aggression

Since their woeful World Cup showing in Brazil, Roy Hodgson's side have made a strong start to qualifying and sit top of Group E having taken maximum points from their five games.

With just one goal conceded during the campaign so far, the World Cup recovery could scarcely have gone better, and Rooney is convinced of the reason behind their upturn in form.

"The players are so quick and when we lose the ball we want to be aggressive and win it back quickly," the skipper told reporters.

"I am sure you have heard the manager talk about those little 'furies' – that when we lose the ball we have to win it back as quickly as possible.

"There are times when you go and don't get it, but that is where the defence probably doesn't get the credit it deserves because they are pushing in right behind us to close the space off.

"With the players we have got, we have to play like that."

Following Friday's 4-0 win over Lithuania, England sign off their international activity until June with a friendly against Italy in Turin on Tuesday.

Ahead of the sides' first meeting since Italy won the World Cup group game in Manaus last year, Rooney added: "You don't want to go into games and teams enjoy playing against you.

"You want teams to look at England and think, 'we know we have a tough game, it is going to be physically hard against them, we are going to have to defend and we are going to have to be good on the ball to keep the ball'.

"That is what we want teams to feel when they come up against us. Certainly since the World Cup we have done that."