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Rooney becomes ‘senior coaching figure’ after Derby manager fired

Wayne Rooney

DERBY, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Wayne Rooney of Derby looks dejected during the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Barnsley at Pride Park Stadium on November 7, 2020 in Derby, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

Offside via Getty Images

Wayne Rooney is one step closer to becoming a first-team manager, even before retiring as a player, after Derby County announced that Phillip Cocu had been fired on Saturday after seeing the Rams into 24th place (out of 24 teams) after 11 games in the EFL Championship.

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While he has not been given the title of interim or caretaker manager, Rooney has been installed as the “senior figure” overseeing the interim coaching staff which also includes Shay Given, Liam Rosenior and Justin Walker. The 35-year-old, who has appeared in eight league games for Derby this season, is now expected to take charge of training and picking the lineup.

As such, it was also Wayne Rooney who was tasked with providing the parting comments on behalf of the club in an official statement:

“I am sorry that Philip and his staff have left the club and want to thank him personally for all his help and encouragement as part of his coaching staff.

“The most important thing now is to stabilize the club and start moving up the table.”

A permanent replacement for Cocu is not expected to be named until the takeover by Abu Dhabi royal family member Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan is completed. The deal, which has already been approved for the English Football League, is expected to be completed by the end of November.

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