Derby County manager Wayne Rooney has revealed that Shay Given introduced the set-piece routine that led to the Rams’ opening goal in their 2-1 win against Boro.
Lee Gregory scored his first goal for Derby to give them the lead inside the first 15 minutes, with a smartly worked corner routine allowing him to nod in a ball that headed back across goal to him.
Gregory then teed up Colin Kazim-Richards for his second in the 32nd minute and though Neeskens Kebano pulled one back six minutes later, Rooney’s team claimed all three points.
Speaking to club media after the game, the Rams boss shed some insight into Given’s role in his coaching staff and revealed he deserved credit for their opening goal.
He said: “It’s pleasing when a set-piece comes off. Shay Given showed me it at first, and told him to work on it. We worked on it, and it paid off.
“Set plays are his control, so it’s great for him and us when they work.”
Given has been at Derby since July 2018 and was part of the four-man interim coaching team that took charge after Phillip Cocu’s sacking.
Rooney eventually became the caretaker manager and then the permanent boss, with the Irishman remaining in his coaching staff throughout.
Derby have now won four of their last five games and moved two points above the bottom three.
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This is an interesting bit of insight from Rooney on the importance of one of his coaches.
The set-piece routine worked perfectly for their opener against Boro and Given, who seems to be more than just a goalkeeping coach, deserves a huge amount of credit for his role in helping it happen.
Derby really look to have turned a corner recently and with their new signings starting to have a real impact, there’s a lot to be positive about at the club.