Derby County manager Wayne Rooney and his coaching team are thought to have marginalised Steve McClaren from the first-team decision-making process in recent weeks, according to The Telegraph.
Rooney is for the first time really starting to feel the heat as a manager, with the Rams under major pressure now following their run of four successive defeats that has left them in a precarious position in the Championship. Derby are sat four points clear of both Rotherham United and Sheffield Wednesday, but the former still have two games in hand on them.
A few weeks ago, Rooney had insisted that Derby were not in any danger of getting relegated from the Championship. However, following the 3-0 defeat at Preston North End in midweek, those opinions will have been altered and the Rams know they have to start picking up results, if they are to ensure they survive in the English second tier.
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The Telegraph have reported that Rooney has decided to not involve former England and Derby manager McClaren as much in terms of the decision making on team selections and tactics. While the report adds that although he is the club’s technical director and not on the coaching staff, he has still been marginalised at a crucial period in the campaign.
This seems like a strange move to have been made by Rooney considering the circumstances that Derby find themselves in. Given they have been really struggling for form over the last few weeks, the experience of McClaren could well prove to be invaluable to the inexperienced former Manchester United star.
Rooney does lack managerial and even coaching experience and you would suggest he needs all the help that he can get if he can get them out of the position they are in at the moment. It is therefore concerning somewhat that he would choose to side line McClaren at this stage if these reports are accurate.
It could well be a decision that he looks back on with regret if Derby’s form continues and they are dragged back into the bottom three. However, it will be something that he feels vindicated over if he finds a way to turn around the situation and gets them out of trouble. This is a bold move and one that could backfire a lot for the club and himself.