Derby desperate for Rooney eligibility after Wednesday draw

Harry McMullen

Derby County played out another dismal draw last night against Sheffield Wednesday at Pride Park with the club desperate for the eligibility of Wayne Rooney in the new year.

Derby took 79 minutes to register a single shot on target in last night’s clash against the Owls – with the home crowd becoming increasingly restless.

Football league veteran Stephen Fletcher gave Wednesday a deserved lead sweeping in a first time effort from the edge of the area in the first half.

In the second period Wednesday pushed for a second to no avail with the Rams riding their luck.

Cocu introduced Jack Marriott in the later stages of the second half and played more directly – it paid off as Marriott won the penalty that would give the Ram’s their equaliser.

Cocu was happy with his teams desire to pull the game back to level terms.

He said: “The key message (at half-time) was you have to find a way into the game.

“It took us maybe 30 minutes (in the second half) to find a good way to get good positions with the ball.

“We played more direct the second half, the team really stepped up and I’m really pleased with the second half. You have to find a way to get a result.”

Cocu complimented Wednesday’s tactics, restricting Derby from playing the slick football the Dutchman is trying to implement at Pride Park.

He added: “Sheffield Wednesday’s tactical choice today was to play direct with no build-up and they didn’t want us to play football.”



The Rams are without England all time top scorer Wayne Rooney until he is eligible to play in January following his move from the MLS.

The introduction of Rooney will galvanise the strike force, said Cocu.

“He’s a world-class talent and him being on the training pitch is enough to encourage the other players.”

Derby will enter the festive period in 16th, with no win the their last four league outings.

Next up County host Millwall at the weekend before a trip down the M1 to face Reading – two clubs in and around Derby in the Championship table.