Wayne Rooney in Line to Replace Phillip Cocu as Derby Manager

Ross Kennerley
Cocu is under mounting pressure at Derby
Cocu is under mounting pressure at Derby / Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Wayne Rooney is the leading candidate to replace Derby County manager Phillip Cocu, who finds himself under mounting pressure after a string of poor results.

Since taking the reins from Frank Lampard in July 2019 the Dutchman has won just 21 of his 58 matches, including losing seven of the last nine, one of which was a penalty shootout victory over Barrow in the Carabao Cup.

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Hosting Watford in Friday's Championship encounter, another poor result could be the final nail in the coffin for Cocu, who The Sun claim has a ready made replacement waiting in his squad.

Cocu was set for the chop in the most recent game against Norwich, but was spared of being sacked when, ironically, Rooney netted a late winner. However, unless three points are secured against the Hornets, Derby owner Mel Morris will turn to the 34-year-old Manchester United legend to take over.

Such a decision would require a fully-licensed experienced coach to come in, given that Rooney is yet to complete all of his FA badges. A right hand man to help guide him has already been earmarked, that being former Rams boss John Gregory. Mike Phelan - part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's backroom team - has also been mentioned.

Rooney scored the winner against Norwich in Derby's most recent clash
Rooney scored the winner against Norwich in Derby's most recent clash / Stephen Pond/Getty Images

Rooney is in his second season with Derby after joining as player-coach on an 18-month contract last summer, a deal that also included another one-year extension option, and he started taking his coaching badges shortly after moving to Pride Park. In total, Rooney has netted seven goals in 29 outings for the club, with one so far this season.

Derby currently sit in 20th place in the Championship after their dire start to the season, one which follows the previous campaign where they missed out on the play-offs by six points.

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