by CHARLIE WYETT in Krakow
WAYNE ROONEY insists England can stick two fingers up at their critics and WIN Euro 2012.
Manchester United superstar Roo flew into Poland with his team-mates last night and hopes to return home a hero.
England face France on Monday but few people can remember any Three Lions team going into a tournament with such low expectations.
Yet striker Rooney, banned for the first two Group D games, believes Roy Hodgson’s men can spring a massive shock.
He said: “I don’t see why we can’t win it. We’ve certainly got the players and the quality.
“The new manager coming in has lifted the players and everybody.
“We know there’s been a lot of changes to the squad and a lot of younger players been given the opportunity.
“We expect big things of ourselves, to come out here and do well. If people don’t expect that, it’s down to them.
“As long as we expect it of ourselves, we know we’re good enough to get to the semi-finals or the final.
“We understand that when you play for England you’re there to be shot at. We need to be sure we give our all.
“If we do that and we’re not good enough, then we’ll hold our hands up.
“If we do that and have the quality in the right areas, I’m sure we’ll do OK.”
Rooney is the first key member of the England set-up to set their sights on the final.
While England face a tough task, his positive attitude will be welcomed.
Roo added: “You go into a tournament hoping you can win it. That’s the main thing.
“The past two tournaments have ended in disappointment.
“Now is the time to put that right.”
Rooney, 26, will be back for the final group game against Ukraine and is looking forward to playing in attack alongside his United strike partner Danny Welbeck.
He added: “I think we can play as a pair.
“The way he’s played this season shows he’s getting better and he’ll be a better player again next year.
“We work well. It gives me the chance to have that bit of freedom to get in the holes and spaces around the box.”
As for his ban, Rooney, sent off in a qualifier against Montenegro last October, said: “I’ll prepare myself as if I was playing in those games.
“So hopefully, when I’m called up, I will go and produce. It’s the price I have to pay for making that mistake.
“I have to accept it. Hopefully the lads will win the two games and I’ll come back into a winning team.”
Rooney’s Old Trafford team-mate France’s Patrice Evra is also talking England up — and reckons Roy Hodgson can become England’s Roberto Di Matteo and spark instant glory.
Evra, set to start against England on Monday, has witnessed first-hand the affect a new manager can have.
Seeing arch-rivals Chelsea roar to FA Cup and Champions League glory under Di Matteo stung him big time.
The Italian had been in the Stamford Bridge hot seat for just over TWO MONTHS before delivering the prize owner Roman Abramovich had been desperately trying to snare for NINE YEARS.
Evra said: “We need to be ready and be strong. You have to respect England. A lot of people are saying they have a new manager and he doesn’t know the players.
“But just look at Di Matteo. He got the job at Chelsea and won the Champions League.
“That’s why you just never known what will happen with Roy Hodgson.
“When he was at Fulham he always put out a strong team, very compact.
“I think he can make a real surprise. Nobody fancied Di Matteo and look what happened. They will be strong, Hodgson will make them difficult to beat.
“The players will try to prove themselves to him and show him they deserve to play for England “They have not won a tournament for so long and will be ready, they will fight for the country and for the shirt.
“It’s so special for me to play against England.
“I don’t want to go back and have all my team-mates laughing at me. I’ve already been warned!”