Rooney will have HUGE impact on Derby play-off push, claims former Rams star

Friday, January 3rd, 2020 3:40pm

By Josh O'Brien @JoshJohnOBrien1

Tommy Smith reckons Rooney is the right man to spearhead a promotion push

Wayne Rooney is back! Making his first appearance at Pride Park since returning from his stateside stint with D.C United, England’s record goal scorer led his new teammates out while wearing the captain’s armband for a 2-1 win over Barnsley.

It was not a performance that will go down as ‘vintage Rooney’, but he still displayed signs of what he can bring to the table for Phillip Cocu’s side.

Playing his first football in almost two months, many could have been forgiven for thinking it would take Derby’s new skipper a while to shake off any post-MLS rustiness.

Whilst there were still clear fitness struggles, on the stroke of half time, Rooney rolled back the years to whip in an inviting delivery that Jack Marriott duly converted.

Speaking to Love Sport Radio, former Derby Winger Tommy Smith said Wayne Rooney will be crucial  in the dressing room for a young Derby side's bid for promotion.

"They are a very young team, they have got a lot of young talent in there so it’s going to help to have someone of his experience around, bringing in someone of that calibre has got to lift the fans and lift the whole environment.”

“You look at him last night, he’s still quite fit, he’s still quite explosive - I think he’ll have a big impact.”

Listen to Love Sport Radio on DAB Digital Radio, Online, smart speaker on via the Love Sport Mobile app.

More from Love Sport Exclusives