'I can't tell Rooney where to play'

Slovakia v England

Sam Allardyce says it is “not for me to say where to play Wayne Rooney” after his England reign started with a narrow World Cup qualifying win in Slovakia.

England struggled to break 10-man Slovakia’s resistance before Adam Lallana secured a 1-0 victory seconds from the final whistle.

Captain Rooney, winning his 116th cap, played in a deep midfield role.

“Wayne played wherever he wanted to. I can’t stop Wayne playing there,” said Allardyce.

Rooney, 30, is now his country’s most capped outfield player and is just nine more away from equalling Peter Shilton’s record of 125 England appearances.

Allardyce added: “I think that he holds a lot more experience at international football than me as an international manager.

“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.

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

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Allardyce was critical of England’s finishing in Trnava and admitted he was getting “very concerned” before Lallana’s goal after Martin Skrtel had been sent off for the hosts.

“Slovakia just parked the bus. In fact they parked a double decker but we are going to have to be more clinical,” added Allardyce, who took over from Roy Hodgson in July.

“We’ve got Theo Walcott scoring for Arsenal and Adam Lallana scoring for Liverpool. Harry Kane hasn’t got one today so he is a bit slow off the mark while we know Daniel Sturridge can score. Wayne Rooney can score.

“Those players have to pop up and be a little bit more clinical in front of goal and make life a little bit easier for us.”

England’s next qualifier is at Wembley on 8 October against Malta, who were beaten 5-1 at home by Scotland.

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