Wayne Rooney explains how Man Utd star Marcus Rashford has helped him manage Derby
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Wayne Rooney has explained how his former Manchester United team-mate Marcus Rashford continues to have an impact on his career. Rooney has endured a difficult start to his managerial career with Derby County since retiring from playing in January.
The 35-year-old joined the Rams in January 2020 as a player and began coaching with the club as he wound down his playing career.
When Phillip Cocu was sacked last year, Rooney was installed as part of a four-man coaching set-up at Derby.
The former Manchester United was then appointed as interim manager in November, before being confirmed as full-time manager in January, when he officially retired from playing.
Derby have been threatened with relegation from the Championship all season, but secured a dramatic 3-3 draw against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday to narrowly avoid the drop by one point.
Rooney left United in 2017 to re-join Everton, before winding down his career with DC United in MLS, but his latter stages with the club were notable for the breakthrough of Rashford.
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Due to an injury crisis the England striker made his debut in February 2016, bursting onto the scene with two goals on debut against Midtjylland in the Europa League.
He never looked back, scoring twice days later on his Premier League debut in a 3-2 win over Arsenal and has gone on to establish himself as one of United’s best players.
That meteoric rise is the stuff of legend at United and Rooney has revealed that he has made use of it while trying to inspire the next generation at Derby.
“Marcus’ story, from getting in the first team, I actually used it a couple of weeks ago,” he said, speaking to Rashford and Rio Ferdinand for BT Sport’s Between the Lines series.
“We’ve had injuries at Derby, so I’ve put a few of the young lads on the bench who hadn’t even trained with us. So I used Marcus’ story from that, saying Marcus came in from nowhere, didn’t really train with us, come in, made an impact and look what he’s gone onto from that.
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“So for them players to try and follow in them footsteps. When you get a chance, it’s up to you then to take it. He’s certainly done that.”
Rashford played an important role in United’s 3-1 win over Aston Villa on Sunday afternoon.
Bertrand Traore opened the scoring for Villa with a brilliant finish before Bruno Fernandes levelled from the penalty spot after Paul Pogba was fouled by Douglas Luiz.
Mason Greenwood made it 2-1 with a powerful low finish before Rashford provided the pin-point cross for Edinson Cavani to head in a third.
The 23-year-old now has 20 goals and nine assists in 53 appearances for United this season.
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