Wayne Rooney raring to go as he trains with Derby ahead of dugout bow… but he has to wait until January for debut

WAYNE ROONEY hopes his arrival at lowly Derby will give the players a lift ahead of the clash against QPR on Saturday.

The 34-year-old – who will be in the dugout on the weekend at Pride Park – isn’t registered to play until January when the transfer window opens.

 Wayne Rooney will have to wait until January 2 for his first Derby appearance

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Wayne Rooney will have to wait until January 2 for his first Derby appearanceCredit: Rex Features

It was announced in August that Manchester United and England’s all-time top scorer had agreed an 18-month deal as player-coach.

Rooney – who has departed MLS side DC United – officially joined Derby this week, where he will be hoping he can help them shoot up the table.

Phillip Cocu’s men currently sit in 14th spot in the Championship table – six points off the play-off spots and without a win since the opening weekend of the campaign.

Speaking to Rams TV, Rooney – who is looking to start against Barnsley on January 2 – said: “(I am) really looking forward to it. I’ve watched most of the games.

“It will be nice to get to Pride Park and meet the supporters. It’s been a long time since it was announced that I’d joined the club, so it will be nice for me but also for the fans.

“Hopefully I can give the players and the fans a lift. It’s always exciting when you join a new club but when you get to meet the fans for the first time, it will be a nice feeling.

“I’ve heard them at games singing my name and different things so I think it’s great for all of us. Hopefully it can help us push on. It’s an exciting time.

“It’s great just to be back around all the lads and the frustrating part of it will be training all week and not playing at the weekend.”

 Rams player-coach Rooney will be in the dugout on Saturday for the clash against QPR

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Rams player-coach Rooney will be in the dugout on Saturday for the clash against QPRCredit: Rex Features
 Rooney, 34, believes his arrival could help lift Derby up the Championship table

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Rooney, 34, believes his arrival could help lift Derby up the Championship tableCredit: Rex Features

By the time Derby face the Tykes, Rooney will have went over two months without playing a match, though he has no concerns about his match fitness.

He added: “I’ll keep myself topped up and just make sure I’m ready to come straight in come the Barnsley game.

“Not so long ago I was playing so it won’t be as tough as a full pre-season and I’ll do a lot of football training with the team so I don’t think it will be so bad.”

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