The last week has been a turbulent one for Derby County, but one man who has come out the other end with immense credit is Wayne Rooney.
County’s manager has been hamstrung all summer due to the transfer restrictions imposed on the club by the EFL, and now he has to navigate the club through the long and arduous process of administration.
The former Manchester United and England striker has detailed how Rams owner Mel Morris hasn’t spoken to him since August 9, labelling him ‘disrespectful’ for not revealing the full extent of the club’s financial struggles.
Rooney even revealed that he’s paid for club equipment out of his own pocket recently and his honest admissions and criticism of Morris has garnered a ton of respect from not only Derby fans but the wider footballing community.
Quiz: Have Derby County ever been involved in these 18 scenarios?
Derby head up the M1 to Sheffield United tomorrow afternoon where they have sold out their 2,000 allocation, and Rooney has praised the travelling support for their commitment whilst the club are struggling behind the scenes.
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“The support we have is incredible and I saw that we had 500 extra tickets as well, which sold out, and that doesn’t go unnoticed by myself and the players,” said Rooney, via Derby’s official website.
“It’s something we were speaking about as a group. The support from the fans is huge for these players.
“I don’t expect anything different because I know the fans are committed to the club. All I can promise the fans is that we will try and do everything we can to get us out of the mess we are in.
“The effort will be there from the players on the pitch and from myself, the coaches and the players, we thank them for their support because I think they have been incredible over this difficult period and the support they are showing the players means a lot and it does make a difference.”
It’s clear that the support of Derby fans has given the team an extra boost since the start of the season – before a 12-point deduction was administered the club had acquired 10 points from the first eight league matches.
For a team with a thread-bare squad that’s quite impressive and unfortunately all their hard work has been taken away thanks to Morris.
You definitely couldn’t back against the Rams getting a result at Bramall Lane tomorrow afternoon though, especially when United still look slightly shaky at the back.
It’ll be a tough ask, but with team spirit seemingly high anything is possible for Derby this weekend as they look to claw back some of the punishment that has been put upon them.