Derby County have appointed Wayne Rooney as permanent manager.

The Rams sit 22nd in the Championship table after defeat at fellow strugglers Sheffield Wednesday and an FA Cup exit to Chorley.

Phillip Cocu was sacked in December with Derby bottom of the table, having arrived at Pride Park in July 2019.

New manager Rooney joined as a player-coach last January, making 30 league appearances for the Rams before heading up the coaching team at Moor Farm after Cocu’s dismissal.

He was supported by Leroy Rosenior, Shay Given and Justin Walker during his spell as interim manager. Little has changed as Rooney takes the hot seat: Rosenior takes the assistant manager role and Given becomes a permanent first-team coach.

Rams U23s manager Justin Walker remains first-team development coach alongside his academy duties, while Steve McLaren maintains his background roles of technical director and advisor to the club’s board.

During his spell as interim manager, Rooney oversaw three wins, four draws and only two league defeats as Derby moved off the foot of the Championship table.

He wasn’t in the dugout for the Rams’ FA Cup exit last weekend, but those two defeats came in their last three league games, against Preston and Sheffield Wednesday.

England’s all-time record goalscorer has signed a two-and-a-half year deal as he moves seats in the DE24 dugout and takes his first permanent job in management.

Rooney said of his appointment, “When I first arrived back in the UK, I was completely blown away by the potential of Derby County Football Club. The stadium, training ground, the quality of the playing staff and the young players coming through and of course the fan base that has remained loyal and supportive.

“To be given the opportunity to follow the likes of Brian Clough, Jim Smith, Frank Lampard and Phillip Cocu is such an honour and I can promise everyone in involved in the club and all our fans, my staff and I will leave no stone unturned in achieving the potential I have witnessed over the last 12 months of this historic football club.

Rooney’s first game as permanent Rams manager is their relegation six-pointer against 23rd-placed Rotherham United on Saturday.

They then host Bournemouth on Tuesday and travel to the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium to take on QPR next Saturday.


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