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By ESPN Staff

Terry tips Rooney to top 150 caps for England

England captain John Terry reckons "frightening'' Wayne Rooney can only get better.

The Manchester United striker took his tally to seven in his last four appearances for England with a double in the 4-0 friendly win over Slovakia at Wembley to show the fallout from his red card at Fulham last week had little impact on his game.

Rooney, 23, will win his 50th cap if selected against Ukraine in Wednesday night's World Cup qualifier.

Chelsea defender Terry, 28, reached that personal landmark of a half-century of England games yesterday, on an evening when David Beckham set a new appearance record of 109 for an outfield player.

Terry feels Rooney has the potential to achieve so much more with the national team.

"He potential is frightening. We were speaking about Becks and my 50th cap on the way here and I was saying to Wayne he could possibly get to 150,'' said Terry.

"It is a reachable target - and certainly 100.

"Wayne has probably missed 20 games through injuries and suspensions, but he is very young, very talented and one of the best in the world that is for sure.''

Terry believes Rooney thrives in a free attacking role.

"I have said before to let Wayne play, because that is what he is best at doing,'' the Chelsea defender observed. "Wayne is growing into a very mature man both on and off the field.

"We love seeing him play with freedom and he plays very well like it.''

Steven Gerrard was given a roaming role from the left of midfield yesterday by head coach Fabio Capello, with Frank Lampard playing somewhat more defensive - but still managing to arrive on queue to net a third goal for England after 82 minutes.

Terry said: "It is great to see the variety in the players, that they are able to change the formations and still do brilliantly well.

"Even when Frank was holding, he managed to finish off a great ball into the penalty area.''

On his own achievements in reaching 50 caps, Terry reflected: "When you first come in the squad you aim to get to 50, and now I am there I can hopefully kick on and get many more.

"Now I really want to push on for 100 and that means staying fit for Chelsea and playing as many games as possible for my country.''

Terry feels yesterday's victory against a side who so far had been impressive in their own campaign to reach South Africa will have set England up well for the visit of Ukraine in Wednesday night's World Cup qualifier.

"We had everything,'' the England captain declared. "The fans were great right from the start and stayed with us, which is what we need.

"We started very well and were unlucky not to be two or three up. After that the goals came, the performance was there, but it is important we get the same again Wednesday.''

Terry added: "We feel it is slowly progressing under this manager. ''We tested ourselves against Spain last month and were disappointed.

"We looked at them and said 'that's where we want to be', especially looking at their movement - which I think we had here.''

England have some fitness concerns for the clash with Ukraine.

Tottenham forward Darren Bent has been called into the squad after Carlton Cole, who had come on to replace injured goalscorer Emile Heskey, was ruled out with a thigh problem.

Heskey is also a major doubt, with the Aston Villa striker set to undergo a scan today after lasting just 14 minutes before limping off with what the England coach described as cramp.

However, Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand should be available for Wednesday's game after scans on a groin injury which caused him to miss out against Slovakia revealed no damage.


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