ANDY CARROLL hopes Wayne Rooney will spearhead England to Euro 2012 glory – even though his return could lead to the axe for the Liverpool striker.
The Liverpool striker staked his claim to remain in the side by netting the opening goal with a superb header from Steven Gerrard’s cross in England’s 3-2 win over Sweden in Kiev on Friday.
But it seems likely himself or Danny Welbeck, who netted the winner against the Swedes, will have to make way on Tuesday against Ukraine for Rooney now the Manchester United striker has completed a two-match suspension.
Carroll said: “Wayne is fantastic, he is back involved now and it is great for us and it is great for him.
“It’s massive, it does give everyone in the squad a lift, and he is a great player.
“He has got awesome qualities. That is what we need really. In training he has done everything - and that’s what we need in games.
“His return now might give us a good lift now for the later stages of the tournament.
“It will be great, it will be fantastic to have him back.”
In terms of whether he has given England head coach Roy Hodgson a selection headache, Carroll said: “I just went out there and gave it my all really against Sweden.
“We’ll just have to see what happens the next game. But it was a great feeling to start against Sweden.
“I was told on the morning of the game, got my head around it during the afternoon.
“It was a massive game for myself and my country and to come out and score and win was great.”
Carroll is confident England can progress to the last eight by overcoming the co-host nation in Donetsk.
He said: “Now we think we can finish the job against Ukraine. We are confident.
“We will just need a point to go through but we will go there and try and get the win.”
Carroll believes the nature of England’s comeback after trailing 2-1 to the Swedes emphasised the sprit and togetherness in the squad.
He said: “It was a great performance by everyone and we stuck with it when we went 2-1 down and fought back.
“We’ve got a great team spirit going on. We just had to stick together. No-one’s head dropped. We are really close. Back at the camp, we all stick together, we are all good friends and have a laugh and a joke. That is a key really.”