Wayne Rooney: Ex-England captain set to start Derby coaching role on Saturday

Phillip Cocu Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney officially links up as a player with Derby and Phillip Cocu in January

Wayne Rooney is set to make his first appearance as a Derby coach in Saturday's Championship game against Queens Park Rangers at Pride Park.

Rooney joined as a player-coach on an 18-month contract in August.

Although the former England and Manchester United captain cannot play for his new club until January, there is nothing to stop him being in the dug-out in a coaching role.

Rams boss Phillip Cocu has suggested Rooney could join him on the touchline.

"He will be important for us because he is a natural leader and this is something we still struggle with," Cocu said after Derby's 3-0 defeat by Fulham on Tuesday.

"Reading the game, seeing what is necessary at moments and also verbally if somebody is not doing his job, getting everybody switched on," he added.

"We don't have to talk about him as a player, but his experience will be very important for a lot of the young players in the squad."

Rooney, 34, spent 18 months in Major League Soccer at DC United but that deal has now expired.

He spent a couple of weeks training at Derby before taking a break and will now embark on what is being termed as a pre-season training programme in an effort to get him ready for the 2 January fixture against Barnsley.