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Wayne Rooney stressed 'stability' was of utmost importance at Derby as he responded to Phillip Cocu's sacking as the Rams' manager.
The Dutchman was relieved of his duties at Pride Park with Derby sat firmly at the foot of the table with just one win to show from their opening 11 matches.
Rooney, 35, has been assisting Cocu in a player-coach role since joining the club in January, and is now one of the names in the frame to replace him.
The former Man Utd and England forward has made no secret of his desire to eventually move into management, and is among a team of coaches taking over the reins in the interim.
As reported by BBC Sport's Simon Stone, Rooney said after Cocu's sacking: "Sorry Phillip and his staff have left. Want to thank him for all his help and encouragement.
Cocu has been sacked with Rooney now in charge on a temporary basis
(Image: Andy Clarke/REX/Shutterstock)
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"Most important thing now is to stabilise the club and start moving up the table.
"Have been [put in charge] for next Saturday’s match against Bristol City. The coaches and I will speak with the players on Monday."
Rooney is already the captain at Derby, and is considered the favourite to succeed Cocu permanently in the dugout, though a replacement will not be named until the current takeover of the club is completed.
Rooney had been playing under Cocu in a player-coach role
(Image: Offside via Getty Images)
Derby coaches Shay Given, Liam Rosenior and Justin Walker will all be assisting Rooney in the meantime following the departure of Cocu and two members of his backroom team.
Derby said in a statement: "Derby County Football Club and manager Phillip Cocu have parted company by mutual agreement with immediate effect.
"Assistant Manager Chris van der Weerden and Specialist First Team Coach Twan Scheepers have also left the club by mutual agreement.
"Cocu was appointed as Derby’s manager in the summer of 2019 and oversaw 65 matches in total across all competitions.
Should Rooney be handed the reins permanently at Derby? Have your say below.
The former Man Utd and England star is keen to get into management
(Image: Offside via Getty Images)
"The club would like to place on record its appreciation for the way Phillip and his staff conducted themselves in what were some extremely challenging situations during his tenure.
"Phillip and his staff helped develop and establish a considerable number of Academy players in to the first team squad and Phillip made significant financial contributions and personal efforts towards the club’s community projects during the COVID-19 pandemic, which the club are extremely grateful for.
"Derby County wishes to thank Phillip, Chris and Twan for their hard work and dedication over the last 16 months and wish them every success in their future careers.