Wayne Rooney does not see delay as a barrier to management

Wayne Rooney would have no worries about taking on a full management role before he has completed his coaching qualifications.

The 35-year-old is part of an interim quartet who have taken charge at Derby following the exit of Phillip Cocu, and the player-coach is among the bookmakers’ favourites to get the job full-time.

Rooney is yet to complete his UEFA A licence or begin his Pro licence, with the disruption caused to last season and this by the pandemic causing a delay in his progress.

But having confirmed he would want the Derby job if offered, Rooney said his qualifications did not need to be a barrier.

“The plan was to have my A licence finished by June and then apply for the Pro licence in July to start (the course) in January coming up, but with what’s happened there’s been a little delay on that.

Derby County v Watford – Sky Bet Championship – Pride Park
Wayne Rooney is interim manager at Derby (Mike Egerton/PA)

“I’m still working on finishing the A licence before then applying for the Pro so that’s where I’m at.

“I don’t think it has any effect on anything to be honest. Gareth Southgate was completing his qualifications when he was managing at Middlesbrough and Frank Lampard was doing it at Derby.

“As long as you’re on the right path and putting the work in, that’s not an issue.”

Rooney is taking charge of Derby alongside Liam Rosenior, Shay Given and Justin Walker – with Rosenior also raising his hand as a potential candidate for the job.

Derby County v Barnsley – Sky Bet Championship – Pride Park
Liam Rosenior has also raised his hand as a potential candidate for the Derby manager’s job (Nigel French/PA)

The first priority for all four is Saturday’s game at Bristol City, with Derby making the trip bottom of the Championship with only six points from 11 games.

Given the predicament on the pitch and the holding pattern off it while the club awaits developments in Sheik Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan’s takeover bid, Rooney said Saturday’s game was not an audition for any of the coaches involved.

“I don’t think we’ve looked that far ahead to be honest,” he said. “The priority is to come in this week and get the players going and fighting for the shirt. That’s been our mantra.

“The main thing was the first game on Saturday and being as good as we can be for that, to win that game and start looking to the next.”

Rooney has long stated an ambition to move into management as he nears the end of his playing days, and is confident he can handle the stress of the role while juggling it with family life.

“I think I’ve always been quite good at switching myself off,” he said when asked about joining what Scotland boss Steve Clarke calls the ‘land of no sleep’.

“While I’m at the club I do all the work that needs to be done but I’ve always found that balance that when I go home I put football away for a time and have my family life.

“Of course there are still decisions to make – me and Liam have been in constant communication on the phone – but in the main I’m quite good at switching off.”

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