Neil Warnock has revealed that he told Wayne Rooney to retire from playing following Middlesbrough’s 3-0 win over Derby County back in November.
The two clubs meet again this afternoon, with the Rams in a lot better form nowadays than they were back when the reverse meeting happened.
Phillip Cocu had just been sacked a few weeks prior and Rooney had been put in temporary charge at Pride Park, but he combined his new role with his playing commitments.
It hadn’t worked against Bristol City in the game before and the Rams collapsed in the second half against Boro, with goals in the 71st and 85th minutes sealing their fate.
Rooney played the whole game for Derby and Warnock has revealed that he gave the England legend some crucial advice post-match.
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“I said to Wayne when he played against us up here, ‘I do wish you all the best son if you take over – but my advice would be to pack in’,” Warnock said, per the Hartlepool Mail.
“And I think he did pack up playing that day.”
It looks like Rooney actually heeded the advice of Warnock, as he didn’t play another game during his temporary spell as manager, and he officially hung his boots up once he was confirmed as the permanent boss – it’s clear to see that the Boro boss holds a lot of influence on people!
Since Rooney has been able to focus on just the managerial side of the game, Derby’s form picked up at the right time.
The Rams have only lost four league games out of 14 since that 3-0 defeat at the Riverside, with Rooney proving that he’s got some tactical nous about him as a novice.
He’s got a heck of a long way to go to achieve what Warnock has in the managerial game though – but his timely advice may have set him on the way to a new successful career.