Preston North End boss Alex Neil has been discussing Wayne Rooney’s impact at Derby County ahead of going up against the Rams’ interim boss on Boxing Day.
Rooney took over from Phillip Cocu as Derby’s interim manager, but lost his first two games as he juggled a player-manager role.
However, he’s stepped back from the playing side of things to focus on management now and results speak for themselves. Derby are unbeaten in six and have moved level on points with Rotherham United as they aim to climb out of the Championship’s relegation zone.
Quiz: Have any of these 22 players ever been in Derby County’s academy?
For Neil, he’s been impressed by Rooney, who he feels has made his mind up on whether he wants management or to continue playing.
He told Preston’s official media: “He’s been dangerous, he’s got quality there’s no question about that. He looks to have made his mind up that this is the time to convert himself from playing to management and to be fair he’s done a good job so far.”
A result against Preston on Boxing Day could well offer Derby a route out of the bottom three.
However, despite Rooney’s impressive spell as interim boss, he’s yet to land the job on a permanent basis, with Derby taking time over an appointment as a takeover bubbles away as the club’s current priority.
I think it’s fair to say that Rooney wants to step into management, he’s not exactly making it a secret!
He wants the Derby job and this is some audition for it.
Things are going really well for the Rams at the moment and they’ll fancy their chances of extending a decent run under Rooney when they take on an inconsistent Preston side.
Thoughts? Let us know!