Wayne Rooney leaves himself out of Derby squad for Wycombe contest

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John Percy
·2 min read
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Wayne Rooney will concentrate his efforts on guiding Derby this weekend from sidelines - Reuters
Wayne Rooney will concentrate his efforts on guiding Derby this weekend from sidelines - Reuters

Wayne Rooney has taken himself out of Derby's squad for this weekend in a surprise move from the club's interim manager. 

Rooney is now the lead figure in Derby's four-man coaching team and will assume full responsibility for the Championship game against Wycombe on Saturday.

England and Manchester United's record goalscorer has come under scrutiny for his performances this season from some Derby supporters, and has now opted to focus purely on coaching duties for a crucial fixture.

It is unclear at this stage how long the 35-year-old will remain unavailable for selection, yet it is a strong hint that Rooney is determined to stake a claim to become the club's permanent manager. 

The decision was mutually agreed on Thursday morning, after the bitterly disappointing defeat at Middlesbrough the previous night.

Phillip Cocu departed Pride Park by mutual consent earlier this month, with Rooney, Liam Rosenior, Shay Given and Justin Walker appointed as a four-man coaching team.

Rooney is now leading that team and will take the game against Wycombe from the technical area.  Since Cocu's departure, Derby have lost both their games and remain bottom of the Championship.

Derby are still determined to go through an appointment process and there is no guarantee that Rooney will land the role, despite the presence of former England manager Steve McClaren as the club’s new technical director.

Rooney will be present at Friday’s press conference. 

Derby's takeover by Sheikh Khaled is still on course to go through, but has been delayed by negotiations involving American investors MSD Capital and the prospective new owners.

MSD Capital provided Derby with one substantial loan earlier this year and paperwork is still being exchanged between the two parties before the takeover can be concluded.

Derby have only one victory in the league this season and face Wycombe at home with the club already six points behind 21st-placed Coventry.