Derby interim boss Rooney is taken advice from Sir Alex Ferguson

Wayne Rooney reveals he is taking advice from Sir Alex Ferguson AND David Moyes as he tries to impress as Derby County’s interim boss, with ex-England team-mate John Terry also keen on the job

  • Wayne Rooney has a big job on his hands as interim manager of Derby County
  • Derby are currently bottom of the Championship, five points adrift of safety
  • Rooney is seeking his first victory as Derby boss against Millwall on Sunday
  • He has spoken to his ex-managers Sir Alex Ferguson and David Moyes for advice 
  • Rooney faces competition for the permanent job at Derby from John Terry

Wayne Rooney has revealed he has spoken to Sir Alex Ferguson for advice as he takes his first steps as a manager with Derby.

The former England captain, who faces competition for the permanent job from John Terry, is in charge of Derby’s interim coaching team while the club await the proposed £60million takeover by Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan and will seek to claim his first win as a boss at Millwall on Sunday.

Derby are desperate for results as they are bottom of the Championship, five points adrift of safety. 

Wayne Rooney is enjoying his first taste of management as Derby’s interim boss

The former striker has revealed he has chatted to Sir Alex Ferguson since taking over at Derby

Rooney has made it clear that he wants the job full-time and has spoken to both Sir Alex and West Ham boss David Moyes, his manager when he broke through at Everton as a 16-year-old, for guidance.

Rooney said: ‘I spoke to Sir Alex and David Moyes, as well as a few different people. It was nice to have the chance to catch up on certain things.

‘It wasn’t particularly about how the team was playing or how we should set up. It was more of a general. 

‘If I can speak to Sir Alex Ferguson again I would be a bit naive not to, and it was great for David Moyes to give me a call and offer his help.’

Rooney faces competition for the Derby job from former England team-mate John Terry

Terry would reportedly want Ashley Cole to join his backroom team if he became Derby boss

There is no one better for Rooney to take advice from during his early managerial days than legendary United boss Ferguson.

During Rooney’s time with Ferguson at Old Trafford, the former striker won five Premier League titles and the Champions League in 2008. 

However, Rooney’s plans to take over at Derby on a permanent basis are under threat from his former England team-mate and Chelsea captain Terry. 

The Rams are searching for a new manager after sacking Phillip Cocu in November with Terry one of the front-runners alongside current interim boss Rooney.

Terry is a real contender for the Derby job with key figures among the club’s prospective new owners impressed by the former England and Chelsea skipper.

Rooney has also spoken to David Moyes, his manager when he broke through at Everton

Terry has never been a No 1, but there are those close to Sheikh Khaled — who believe Terry would be able to revive Derby’s fortunes. 

The 39-year-old is part of Dean Smith’s coaching staff at Aston Villa but is keen to move into management.

If Terry beats Rooney to the permanent job at Pride Park, it has been reported that he would look to make former Chelsea and England team-mate Ashley Cole part of his management team.

The former left back, who finished his career with a short spell at Derby in 2019, is currently an academy coach at Chelsea and also works as a TV pundit, but according to the Mirror – Terry reportedly thinks he can make the coaching step-up to senior football.  

Rooney is seeking his first victory as interim Derby manager when they travel to Millwall


Rooney on Sir Alex (Managed Rooney between 2004 and 2013):

Rooney on Ferguson’s man-management and motivation 

‘It’s documented we had disagreements but disagreements are good in football. [Disagreeing] gives you ways to improve and think about things differently.

‘The best way to motivate me? Confrontation. I’ve always been at my best when I’ve been a bit angrier. 

‘Fergie knew exactly what I needed. I’d say 90 per cent of the games I played under him we were arguing at half-time.’

Rooney on Ferguson not holding grudges 

‘I never got used to [Ferguson rounding on him]. I used to think, “I’m playing well, he’ll have a go at someone else today.” And it would be me again.

‘Portsmouth was the worst one. It got really bad. This was at half-time. I went back out and scored a hat-trick. 

‘I remember sitting on the coach thinking, “I’ve gone too far there” but the good thing about him, he’d go to the toilet in the coach or to get a coffee and walk past you on the way back and just, like, slap you on the back of the head. That was his way of saying, “The argument is gone.” He never carried grudges.’

Rooney on Ferguson’s emphasis on trust

‘I don’t think you will get better than how he managed his players and the trust he gave them to manage the dressing room themselves. That management. It’s the best I’ve ever seen.

‘It wasn’t complicated. The big thing was he had trust in people. He trusted his coaches to put sessions on, he trusted his players. 

‘People always ask how were his team talks: a lot of his team talks were just, ‘You 11 are better than them. Go win the game.’

Sir Alex on Rooney

The pair may have had a rocky relationship during their time together at Old Trafford, however, there is nothing but admiration for one another now.

Speaking back in 2016, Ferguson hailed Rooney ahead of his testimonial by claiming he could have excelled in ‘any era’.

Ferguson said: ‘He [Rooney] was an exciting signing [in 2004]. It was fairly shortly after I’d got rid of the idea of retiring and changed my mind, and I had to rethink about how we were going to take the club forward.

‘When you make the decision to retire, you stop thinking, but once I decided to stay I started thinking again and it was really centred around bringing energy back into the team by looking at young players.

‘Of course there was Cristiano Ronaldo, then there was Rooney, and it was a fantastic period. The two of them were unbelievable. 

‘Wayne came in as a first-team player right away, even though he was only 18, and he’s gone on to play for Manchester United for 12 years, which is very difficult in the present day. 

‘I always think that great players can play in any era. Bobby Charlton would have been a great player today and Wayne Rooney would have been a great player back then.’ 

And speaking after his arrival at Old Trafford in 2004, Ferguson let fans know exactly why Rooney stood out.

Ferguson said: ‘Wayne is truly blessed. He doesn’t just have ability, he has a fire inside him.’ 

David Moyes on Rooney (Managed Rooney at Everton in 2002-04, and at United in 2013-14)

After replacing Sir Alex as manager at Old Trafford, Moyes gave his former Everton youngster the harsh treatment to get the best out of him.

Ahead of the 2013-14 campaign, Moyes told Rooney he had ‘gone soft’, which led to a turnaround in the forward’s form before he earned a new deal worth around £300,000-per-week.

Speaking about Rooney’s return to top form, Moyes revealed the following:

‘I remember when he came to see me,’ Moyes said. ‘I said to him: “If you ask me what’s missing – I think you’ve gone a bit soft”.

‘I thought he hadn’t been the hard-working, aggressive player he was. But now in games people are saying: “Look at the effort he is putting in.” It’s his work-rate, not just for himself but for the team. He’s become an all-round team player who is also a technically gifted footballer.’ 

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