Rooney sent Derby a good luck message ahead of win over Oxford

Wayne Rooney sent former side Derby a good luck message ahead of season-opening win over Oxford, reveals Liam Rosenior – as interim boss opens up on ‘scary’ plight after being on the brink of liquidation following nine months in administration

  • Wayne Rooney sent Derby a good luck message ahead of their win over Oxford
  • The DC United manager rang Rams interim boss Liam Rosenior to wish him luck
  • Rosenior insists Rooney still ‘deeply cares’ about the League One club 

Wayne Rooney sent former club Derby a good luck message ahead of their victory over Oxford on a day interim boss Liam Rosenior had feared would never come.

After nine months in administration, Derby were on the brink of liquidation when a takeover bid by American businessman Chris Kirchner collapsed last month. 

But before a crowd of 31,053 – the largest in the EFL on Saturday – they were rescued at the 11th hour by local property developer and lifelong fan David Clowes, who was in the directors’ box to see Conor Hourihane score the winner on his debut 10 minutes from full-time.

Wayne Rooney (right) sent former club Derby a good luck message ahead of their win over Oxford, reveals interim boss Liam Rosenior (left)

‘There were times (when I feared this day would never happen),’ said Rosenior, who was Rooney’s assistant last season before the former England captain took over at MLS club DC United. ‘It was scary, not just for myself but every member of staff and anybody who had a connection with Derby County.

‘It makes days like this sweeter. This day will always be remembered. It’s something I’ll never forget and I’m honoured and privileged to be in this position.

‘Wayne called me on Friday to wish me good luck and he still cares deeply about the players here. We have become close friends and I wish him luck in his new role.’

This was Rosenior’s first game in sole charge of a senior side and he will hope to land the job full-time with more results like this. 

Conor Hourihane (left) scored the winning goal as Derby beat Oxford United on Saturday

Oxford were the better side in the first half but Derby grew into the match and deserved the late Hourihane strike that brought the points.

Hourihane is one of several experienced EFL campaigners to have joined Derby, with Rosenior looking to bring in at least two more before the transfer window closes.

Rosenior added: ‘We showed the players a video before the game of our journey. There were clips of fans marching through the city during administration, some of the goals from last season, and the new player we’ve signed this summer. We started pre-season with five players. This is a new era.’

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