Wayne Rooney has ambitions of becoming a manager
Credit: ACTION IMAGES
Wayne Rooney has revealed he wants to be considered as Derby’s next manager, as the interim coaching team prepare for a trial run in the Championship.
Rooney, England and Manchester United’s record goalscorer, will take charge of his first game on Saturday at Bristol City, along with highly-regarded first-team coach Liam Rosenior, former Republic of Ireland international Shay Given and Justin Walker.
The 35 year-old has previously admitted he wants to eventually follow former England team-mates Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard into management, and Rooney will be given an opportunity to impress over the next three matches.
Phillip Cocu left the club by mutual consent on Saturday and with Derby close to a takeover by Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan, Rooney said he wants to put himself – or the four-man coaching team – into serious contention.
“I wouldn’t be an ambitious person if I sat here and said I didn’t want the job,” he said.
“We all come into this game to play football and then you have a decision to make: do you want to go into coaching or management?
“I’ve made it quite clear over the last few years that my ambition is to go into management, especially when you see the likes of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Scott Parker all getting good jobs and doing really well at it.
“We have to get the next two or three games out the way first, but if they go well it puts me in a better position to put our names forward for that role. We’re working together and if it works [as a group] it could be a way forward also.
“It’s working really well for the four of us, there are disagreements but that’s healthy for us and the players.”
Rooney was signed by Derby as a player-coach in January, with his contract running out at the end of this season.
He lifted the Premier League five times during his spell at Manchester United, plus the Champions League, the FA Cup and three League Cups, and has admitted that retirement may not be far away.
He said: “I’m not in the twilight of my career any more. I’m 35 now so we’ll have to wait and see what happens.
“I’ve got my toes in both dressing rooms, one as a player and one trying to help lead the team. We’ll see where this takes us and there will be a decision made from there.”
Rooney and Rosenior were both impressive at Thursday’s press conference, sitting alongside each other and speaking eloquently and sensibly about the future.
On Wednesday they held talks with Midhat Kamil Kidwai, a director at Derventio Holdings, the group who are set to complete their takeover of the club.
While Rooney possesses vast experience, Rosenior is highly admired by Derby’s current hierarchy and already has his pro-license coaching badges.
The 36 year-old has taken the lead on training this week, alongside Rooney, and is determined to become a manager in his own right.
“It’s one thing wanting the job, it’s another thing if you’re the right man. That depends on how the owners see the club moving forward,” he said.
“Wayne has unbelievable qualities, I’ve no doubt he’s going to be an exceptional manager. I’d like to think that one day if I get a different path I’ll be an outstanding manager as well.
“It’s all about the decision-makers and who they think the right person is – it might be Wayne, it might be somebody outside the club. At the moment, the important thing is that we win some football matches and we have an unbelievable opportunity to affect that in the short-term.”
Derby are bottom of the Championship ahead of Saturday’s trip to Bristol City.