Derby County manager Wayne Rooney has revealed that he is going to continue with the approach of handing minutes to some of the Rams’ promising young players in their League Cup tie against Sheffield United.
Rooney named a youthful side for the Rams’ clash with League Two Salford City in the previous round and the likes of Dylan Williams, Jordan Brown, Isaac Hutchinson, Jack Stretton, Louie Watson and Festy Ebosele were all handed the chance to show what they could do.
It turned out to be an invaluable experience for them with the Rams having been given a very tough game by Salford that saw them have to come from two goals behind and then 3-2 down to take the match to penalties, before they eventually came through the tie.
The Rams have secured four points from their last two Championship matches and Rooney’s side will now head to Sheffield United on Tuesday aiming to continue their momentum.
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Speaking to Derby County’s official club website ahead of the game, Rooney insisted that he will continue to give chances to young players in the League Cup to make sure that they are ready to come into the first-team in the Championship if called upon this term.
He said: “The team for the Sheffield United game will be a similar team to the one that featured in the Salford City game in Round One.
“I think it’s so important that these young players get minutes on the pitch because they need to be ready.
“We have seen that if we get an injury, some of these players will have to step up so it’s a great opportunity for these players to get minutes in.
“I was delighted when I saw the tie. I think it’s a big game for us to play against another Championship team away from home, that were in the Premier League last season, and it will be a big challenge for some of those lads.
“I think they are ready to go and show people what good players they are.”
This seems to be a very sensible approach from Rooney to Derby’s League Cup ties this season considering that their squad is very short on numbers given they are have been limited to the amount and type of transfer moves they can conduct this summer.
It would be a major risk to field the same team that featured against Middlesbrough on Saturday and the Rams need to ensure that their first-team players get enough rest so that they can continue their decent start to the Championship campaign under the current circumstances.
The game against Sheffield United will give Rooney a chance to assess his young talents against a Championship opponent that are likely to take the tie seriously considering they need some confidence having failed to win any of their first four league matches.
Therefore, it will be a chance for a number of Derby’s young players to show Rooney that they are ready to make an impact when they are called upon in the Championship this term.