TALLINN (Reuters) - England manager Roy Hodgson denied he had decided to substitute Wayne Rooney just before his captain scored what proved to be the decisive goal in England s 1-0 victory in Estonia on Sunday.
Substitute striker Rickie Lambert was warming up while Rooney was preparing to take the 74th-minute free kick that produced the only goal of the Euro 2016 qualifier and gave England their third successive win in Group E.
But he went to sit back down on the bench with a smile on his face after watching Rooney s curling set-piece cross the line as goalkeeper Sergei Pareiko fumbled the save.
ITV Sport, who televised the match, said they had seen a form prepared by the England coaching staff to hand to the fourth official indicating that Rooney was the player coming off, but Hodgson was not aware of that.
As far as I know, no form went in, Hodgson said. I was in discussions with other members of my staff, I don t know about any forms going in.
No doubt you re going to produce some evidence that a form had gone in, in a minute, but that certainly wasn t my intention, put it that way.
Moments earlier he was asked if he had planned to take Rooney off.
No, no, he said. We were going to put Rickie Lambert on and we were discussing which of the two front players to take off.
I hadn t made up my mind it was going to be Wayne Rooney, it was probably more likely to be Danny Welbeck and it had to be Danny in the end because he turned his ankle slightly.
That substitution took place after 80 minutes when Lambert did replace Welbeck.
Rooney, who was appointed England captain in August, has now scored 43 goals in 99 appearances for his country and has moved to within one goal of Jimmy Greaves, third on the all-time list.
Bobby Charlton has topped the England scoring list since 1970 when he scored his 49th and last goal for his country in a friendly against Colombia just before the World Cup finals in Mexico.
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