Allardyce: I can’t stop Rooney playing in midfield

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Newly-appointed England manager Sam Allardyce has praised Wayne Rooney's performance in the 1-0 victory over 10-man Slovakia, and insists the 30-year-old will play where he's most comfortable.

The debate over Rooney's best position has once again been reignited after the player took up a deep-lying role for much of the 2018 World Cup qualifying clash.

The former Everton man was tipped to play in the hole, behind lone frontman Harry Kane, but ended up playing in a playmaker role.

When asked to explain his decision to deploy Rooney in midfield, Allardyce made it clear that he in fact expected the player to take up a more advanced position on the field of play.

However, the former Sunderland boss was quick to point out that he was happy with the striker-cum-midfielder's performance, saying the player deserved  to be afforded a level of autonomy due to his vast international experience.

"Today Wayne played wherever he wanted to," Allardyce said. "He was brilliant and controlled midfield. I can't stop Wayne playing there.

"I think that he holds a lot more experience at international football than me as an international manager.

"Yes he played a bit deeper than he does at United, but Wayne's comfortable, when I talk to him, about the position.

"This is the most decorated outfield player in England. He's won everything at Man United, more or less, and at Champions League and domestic level.

"Using his experience with a team, and playing as a team member, it's not for me to say where he's going to play. It's up to me to ask whether he's doing well in that position, and contributing.

"If so, great. We'd like to get him into goalscoring positions more. He's been a goalscorer all his life and I want him to do that again, but he reads a game as he reads it. He read it very well, we won the game and dominated the game, outplaying the opposition.

"I must admit, he did play a little deeper than I thought he'd play today, but I was pleased with his performance."