Wayne Rooney has lifted the lid on some of the figures currently shaping his managerial philosophy at Derby County.
The former England international jumped straight into coaching after hanging up his boots in 2020, taking on the unenviable role of safeguarding Derby during an uncertain period in the club’s history.
The Rams are currently in the midst of a financial crisis that saw them docked 12 points in September after entering administration. A further nine points were deducted in November, leaving the club rooted to the foot of the Championship on 11 points.
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Despite Derby’s off-field troubles, Rooney has produced wonders in the Pride Park dugout this season and the chances of relegation are not as perilous as they once seemed, with the club now just 11 points adrift of safety, owing to a recent run of form that has seen them take 10 points from their last four games.
It’s a turnaround that has reinvigorated the terraces in the East Midlands, and one that Rooney may pin on a few influential figures in his life, with the relative managerial greenhorn revealing he has been getting tactical feedback from some of the game’s most iconic coaches.
“Fergie’s man-management was by the far the best. Of course you need relationships with players, but you also need that authority,” Rooney toldThe Athletic.
“Tactically, (Louis) Van Gaal was very good, but he was too honest, if you like. He’d speak to an 18-year-old the same way you’d talk to a 35-year-old.
“It’s about getting that balance right and letting the young lads play without fear.
“I’ve spoken to Van Gaal, to Moyesy [David Moyes], to Alex Ferguson. Not so much for advice, more for a bit of feedback.
“It’s hard for them to give advice because when you’re where this club is, in administration, it’s very different from a normal manager’s job. We’ve got staff losing jobs.
“We’re in a transfer window where, if things aren’t sorted, other teams can pick off our players.”