Newly appointed Derby captain Wayne Rooney guided his team to a 2-1 win over Barnsley in his debut game for the second-tier side.
The 34-year-old who transferred from MLS where he played for DC United was handed over captaincy by manager Phillip Cocu did not fail to deliver in his opening game for Derby.
Rooney played a crucial role in setting up both of Derby’s goals.
Wayne Rooney came out with a performance that silenced any lingering doubts anyone may have had about the 34-year-olds ability to perform.
From the opening whistle, Rooney dived right into the thick of things. Obviously it wasn’t all smooth sailing as it will take him time to adjust to the type of play that comes in the second-tier league as it differs from the MLS.
Having not played in 2 months since his transfer from DC United, Rooney managed to last the length of the game as he ‘got his groove’ back.
The Derby skipper assisted Jack Marriott to the opening goal of the game right on the 45th-minute mark sending Derby into the halftime break with a 1-0 lead over Barnsley.
Elliot Simoes hit back with an equalizing goal in the 50th minute for Barnsley.
Rooney once again set up the play that led to teammate Martyn Waghorn scoring Derby’s second and winning goal in the 57th minute of play. The game ended in a 2-1 win for Derby.
It was evident that Rooney’s preparation over the past 2 months had clearly paid off given the effect he had on his side during the game.
He went on to say the following during his post-game interview:
“I trained for a long time to prepare for this game and the important thing was the victory, which we were in desperate need of.”
“I’ve had a lot of hard training sessions, and it’s frustrating to do them as a player [and not play] but they’ve helped me through tonight.”
Phillip Cocu and his side will be looking at their new star captain to help guide them on the road to promotion out of the second tier division and into a new chapter for the club.