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Wayne Rooney makes revelation on Derby manager’s job

Wayne Rooney makes a revelation on the Derby County manager’s job with the ex-footballer set to take charge as sole-interim on Saturday.

The former Everton, Manchester United and England player has told the Rams players he will be in charge of team affairs for the foreseeable future and has confirmed he is ready to retire as a player if installed as full-time manager by the club’s prospective new owners.

Rooney will take sole charge of the club for Saturday’s home game against Wycombe Wanderers having been part of an interim coaching quartet alongside Liam Rosenior, Shay Given and Justin Walker since the departure of Phillip Cocu.

Rooney spoke amid confusion and uncertainties within the squad – after some had no idea that he was taking charge until they saw the information on Sky Sports News on Thursday night with the club bottom of the Championship table.

No permanent appointment is expected to be confirmed until the takeover headed by Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan is officially complete.

When asked if he was ready to hang up his boots to potentially take the manager’s job full-time, Rooney said: “If I’m managing the team for a longer scale, I don’t think it’s possible to manage and play, so of course that is a possibility.

“If I’m not managing the team and I’m part of the coaching staff then I’ll continue to play, but if I’m asked to manage the team on a full-time basis then, of course, that will be the end of my playing days, yes.”

Rooney added: “We felt it needed one voice, one person to make the decisions on the team and substitutions during the game and we felt I was the right man for that, so that’s where we’re at.

“It’s exciting for me to do that. Management is always something I’ve stressed I want to go into, so it’s an opportunity for me to try and pick the right team to get a positive result.

“I played in the last game, but if I’m making decisions on who plays and who doesn’t and obviously preparing the team, I wouldn’t be able to give it my full attention and still be part of the game, so I won’t be involved tomorrow.

“We’ve spoken to Steve (McClaren) every day since he’s been in. He was part of that conversation. The decision has been made and we just have to look forward.

“We have to solely focus on tomorrow’s game and then of course the new owners will be in, I’m sure it will be done in the next few days. Once that is complete, there will be conversations and we’ll see where that goes.”

Frank Lampard has given advice to Wayne Rooney over the taking the Derby manager’s job.

“Do it, go for it, although you have to do it with everything you’ve got. It’s not a job where you can say, ‘Ah, I’ll see how it goes’. You have to throw yourself into it,” he told Alan Shearer in an interview for The Athletic.

“The first day I walked into Derby, I was shitting myself. I really was. It came upon me so quickly. I met Mel Morris, the owner. I was offered the job which was a big leap for him and a big leap for me.

“I’d played against a lot of the players. I played with some of them for my country. It’s how you package that first meeting, that first training session, of what you want to be. It’s so important. I had all those worries.

“What I was determined to do was to listen and learn — from everybody. I watch you and Wrighty (Ian Wright) and Gary (Lineker) on Match of the Day.

“There will be times when something’s said I don’t like and it gets your back up. Maybe we’ve been dug out because we can’t defend set pieces, so the next day I go into work and say quietly, ‘I want to have a look at set pieces one more time!’

“I like listening to other managers, podcasts of other coaches. If I can take bits from that, I will. You’ve got to be yourself, but you can still suck all that stuff in.”

Lampard ended up winning 24 of his 57 games in charge of Derby between May 2018 and July 2019, guiding them to 6th place and reaching the playoff final where they lost to Aston Villa.

The former midfielder then became Chelsea manager in the summer of 2019 and has found his feet this season, taking the Blues to third in the Premier League table.

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