31 December 2019 12:39
Wayne Rooney joined Derby County after leaving DC United earlier in the year Derby County manager Phillip Cocu has revealed Wayne Rooney could be set to face Barnsley after the Rams ended a seven-match winless run by beating Charlton 2-1 at Pride Park. Rooney is eligible to face the Tykes on Thursday, January 2 and Cocu hinted the former England captain is likely to be in the starting line-up. He watched from the dugout as Derby recorded their first victory since November 23 and now Cocu can call on Rooney for the first game of 2020 with Krystian Bielik and Tom Lawrence suspended. Derby vs Barnsley Live on Cocu said: "If a player with the qualities, career and the experience of Rooney (is available) you have to be very happy and glad he is here, so I don't need a suspension to consider him in the first XI to be honest. "He's fit, he can start but he will need a few games.
"So maybe not perfect from the start but it's important he will get in the team as soon as possible so we get a certain shape in our team." Wayne Rooney speaks to Sky Sports ahead of his upcoming debut for Derby. The former England and Manchester United captain discusses his reasons for returning to English football, his coaching and managerial ambitions, and his hopes for success with the Rams. Derby manager Phillip Cocu has revealed Wayne Rooney is poised to make his debut for the Championship side against Barnsley later this week after they ended a seven-match winless run by beating Charlton 2-1 on Monday. The Manchester United and England legend watched from the dugout once more as Jason Knight's first goals in senior football – a brace either side of the break – saw the Rams record a welcome victory against a poor Charlton side. getty images 1 Wayne Rooney is set to make his Derby debut at home to Barnsley on Thursday night Cocu's men had to play with 10 men for over 70 minutes of the match after former Addicks loanee, Krystian Bielik, saw red for a reckless challenge on Conor Gallagher.
"So maybe not perfect from the start but it's important he will get in the team as soon as possible so we get a certain shape in our team." On the victory, Cocu added: "I'm extremely proud of how we performed in tactical discipline, how we defended and also how we played football with 10 against 11." A special night is how Derby County midfielder Jason Knight described his evening as he netted his first professional goals in a vital 2-1 home win over Charlton Athletic. He probably didn't know much about his first goal, but he showed huge effort and desire to put his head in where it hurts and give the Rams a dream start on 10 minutes from close range. Despite the Rams playing with more than three quarters of the game with 10-men, Knight continued to shine and got his second goal of the game in the second half. An inch-perfect ball into the box by fellow Academy graduate Max Bird set him up for what turned out to be a lovely finish as he extended the Rams' lead. Charlton did pull one back from the penalty spot through Lyle Taylor late on, but the Rams defended heroically to secure all three points and end the decade with a win.
"It is a special night for myself, scoring my first two goals for the club but it was a very important win and a very good performance," he told RamsTV. I need to push on, keep working hard and keep doing what I'm doing. "Everyone in the team and the staff knew that this was going to be a massive game for us. "Charlton are around our position in the table and we needed to win the game so luckily we did that, and we can now push on to Thursday against Barnsley." He headed home his first goal of the night on 10 minutes and despite sporting a black eye, he was delighted to put the Rams ahead. I saw the ball drop and I just thought I would throw myself at it and see what happens. I got a nice boot out of it in the face but that happens sometimes." However, seven minutes later, the Rams were reduced to 10-men following the dismissal of Krystian Bielik, a decision which frustrated Knight. "I was frustrated in myself because it would be a lazy pass and I went in and said sorry to Krystian and apologised to him," he admitted. "We reacted well to it and we got on with the game very well." Derby continued to rally and force chances on goal and they were rewarded in the second half as Bird found Knight alone in the penalty box and he fired in a second of the evening. "I gave Max Bird a lot of praise to pick me out in that situation," Knight commented. "There was a lot of bodies running at him in that situation and then it was a nice little finish from myself and it was nice to get a second goal to secure the win at the end." Cricket's anti-corruption officials are keeping a vigilant eye on player apparel, coming at a time when six illegal Indian bookmakers have been arrested in the past week for taking bets on the Big Bash League. Mumbai police arrested four men on Monday and two last week, the latter for accepting bets during the BBL clash between the Melbourne Renegades and Sydney Thunder. The Thunder won by six wickets with two balls remaining. Senior Inspector Sunil Mane told the Mumbai Mirror that the two men arrested - Yukin Mukesh Shah and Vinod Yada - were suspected to be linked to a global betting syndicate, which was being investigated. Cricket Australia said on Tuesday it was aware of the arrests. "Cricket Australia is aware of the situation and will continue to be vigilant in enforcing our anti-corruption measures," a CA spokesman said.