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'Give Rooney a chance', says Argyle owner Hallett

Simon Hallett shakes Wayne Rooney's hand
Wayne Rooney is the fourth manager appointed by Simon Hallett since he took over Plymouth Argyle in 2018 [Plymouth Argyle]

Plymouth Argyle owner Simon Hallett says the decision to hire Wayne Rooney was not to try and increase the club's profile.

Hallett is looking for new investment in the Championship side and appointed Rooney last week.

The former England captain had been out of work since being sacked by Birmingham City in January after nine losses in a 15-game spell in charge.

"We've been looking for nine months now for new investors, so we've looked in most nooks and crannies, so if Wayne's fame and the attention that it's brought gets the attention of somebody new I'd be surprised," Hallett told BBC Sport.

"It may do, but I'd be surprised, and it certainly wasn't part of the thinking in hiring Wayne and the first place,

"We hired Wayne Rooney in the belief that he will be best placed to help us win football matches."

'Give Wayne a chance'

Wayne Rooney at Home Park
Wayne Rooney led Birmingham City to a 3-3 draw at Plymouth Argyle in December [Rex Features]

Rooney's appointment has been met with a mixed response from the club's fans who have concerns over his managerial record at Birmingham.

Rooney also spent two seasons in charge of Derby County when they were suffering severe financial problems and a spell at the helm of Major League Soccer side DC United.

"He was the most attractive candidate that we interviewed," said Hallett.

"His strengths are essentially in his ability to relate to the squad, his ability to relate to the rest of the staff and to other stakeholders, including the fans.

"In his three managerial jobs I think the background to his decision making was not terribly supportive and I think at Argyle it will be more supportive.

"One of the outstanding features of Wayne, other than his people skills, is his football intelligence.

"But if you're kind of inhibited from actually exercising that intelligence with your squad, as I think in particular he was at Birmingham, I don't think that we could expect the results to be what was desired."

Hallett says Argyle will be able to provide the 38-year-old with the foundations to succeed as a head coach.

The club won the League One title last year despite having a budget less than many other clubs, and survived in the Championship this season while again being at a financial disadvantage.

"I completely understand that people would just look at the results and draw their conclusions from that," he added.

"I'd absolutely say give Wayne a chance. I think in the Argyle environment we'll see if he has the makings of a great head coach.

"We've had this motto of 'only one Argyle' for quite a time now, and I think in the past five or six years we've massively outperformed our budgets

"Football is an industry where what you pay is at least in part what you get, and if you don't pay very much you don't get much.

"But there are ways of outperforming the budget, but they rest particularly on the kind of unity at the club and the environment behind Wayne.

"The 'Only one Argyle' concept I think has been critically important in helping us achieve what we've done over the last five years.

"Very few teams in the English Football League have won more games than us over the past five years.

"It's clearly not because we're paying the top dollar in terms of squad wages."