DERBY, England (AP) — Wayne Rooney outlined his desire to become a top-level manager like former England teammates Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard as he prepared for his first match as interim coach of second-tier English club Derby.
Derby fired former Netherlands international Phillip Cocu after slipping to last place in the Championship and has turned to Rooney on a temporary basis.
His first game in charge is against Bristol City on Saturday but the record scorer for Manchester United and England is thinking much longer term, having been inspired by the appointments of Lampard at Chelsea and Gerrard at Scottish team Rangers.
“I’ve made it quite clear in the last few years my ambition is to go into management,” the 35-year-old Rooney said, “especially with guys like Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Scott Parker (Fulham) all getting good jobs and doing really well.
“I wouldn’t be an ambitious person if I said I didn’t want the job.”
Derby is awaiting the completion of a takeover bid led by Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan — a member of the ruling family of the emirate of Abu Dhabi and the cousin of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour — before making its next managerial move.
Rooney and his fellow coaches in the interim set-up — Liam Rosenior, Justin Walker and Shay Given — had an introductory video call with the prospective new owners this week.
Rooney remains a player-coach, but his stated ambition suggests his playing days could be coming to an end.
“While I’m in this position, I’ll give myself a new three-year deal,” he said, laughing.
“I know I’m in the twilight of my career. We’ll have to wait and see what happens moving forward. For now, I’ve got my toes in both dressing rooms, as a player and trying to help lead the team, and we’ll see where this takes us.”
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