Derby County manager Wayne Rooney has suggested that it will be difficult to take when the Rams are inevitably forced to sell off some of their key players during the January transfer window.
The Rams are facing a crucial period over the next few months with the club having now been placed into administration.
As a result, Derby are set to be handed a 12 point deduction and that will mean the task facing Rooney’s side this term in the Championship will be a very difficult one.
It will be important that administrators are able to sell off key assets of the club to raise funds to keep them going.
The most obvious way of doing that will be by way of player sales come January and there are a number of players in the squad that other teams will likely be interested in.
Considering that Rooney has already been working with a threadbare squad at the start of the campaign, losing more key players in January would place him in a very challenging position for the second half of the season.
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Speaking to the Daily Mail, Rooney admitted that it is inevitable that players will have to be sold off in January now that the club are under administration.
He also suggested it will be a difficult one for him to take when that happens, but stressed the need for resilience amid that issue.
He said: “It’s a plus that administration has happened now and not in January. We’ve got a few months now to try to get some investors in. If we get to January, the administrators can sell my players and there’s nothing I can do about it. That will be very difficult, a hard one to take.
“This is a big club. It will bounce back. So we have to be strong, we have to be resilient, and stick together.”
You have to have an enormous amount of sympathy for Rooney at the moment and he has already been doing his best with a very small squad so far this season.
The fact that Rooney has guided the Rams to ten points from their opening eight league games given all of the off-the-field issues is commendable and he has been able to grow a lot as a manager since the end of last season.
However, the survival of the club is likely going to rely on Rooney needing to push himself even further in the coming months.
January should see a number of the club’s young prospects and most important assets sold and that will make forming a squad even more challenging.
The expectation levels on Rooney will have to be just on keeping the team ticking over as well as possible. It would be difficult for him to do any more than that if they do sell off a number of their most important players in January.
These will be hard times ahead for the Rams, but as Rooney suggests here, the club will eventually be able to bounce back and get back to where they should be.