Paul Merson explains why Wayne Rooney faces ‘long summer’ despite keeping Derby up

merson rooney derby

“He’s got his work cut out next year, Wayne Rooney.”

Paul Merson has explained why Wayne Rooney faces a “long summer”, despite keeping his Derby County side in the Championship.

Derby secured a 3-3 draw at home to Sheffield Wednesday, a result which ensured they stayed in England’s second flight on the final day of the season.

Derby County 3-3 Sheffield Wednesday.

Derby trailed at the break thanks to a Sam Hutchinson goal for Wednesday but two goals in three minutes from Martin Waghorn and Patrick Roberts just after the break put Rooney’s side 2-1 up.

However, there were more twists and turns to come as Callum Paterson and Julian Boerner scored in quick succession to give Darren Moore’s team a vital 3-2 lead, which would have kept them up and sent Derby down.

Nevertheless, with 12 minutes to go, Derby earned a penalty and Waghorn stepped up to slot it away to ensure Derby’s survival and relegate Wednesday to League One on what was a dramatic final day.

Paul Merson on Wayne Rooney.

After the game, Merson revealed some of the concerns he has for the Rams next season, despite staying up.

“He’s got his work cut out next year, Wayne Rooney,” Merson told Sky Sports.

“It’ll be a long, long summer trying to recruit players because what I’ve seen today, they’ll be near the bottom.

Presenter Jeff Stelling then asked the former Arsenal midfielder about the potential Derby takeover, which doesn’t look like it’ll happen due to the costs involved.

“Well it doesn’t. I’ve heard what the deal is and it’s a lot of money. A lot of money. Not to buy the club but the money they owe,” Merson continued.

“They’re not in a great position but Wayne’s done his job. He would have learned over the last 34 games.”

Wayne Rooney interview.

Rooney himself was relieved to have gotten over the line today but wants to see off-field issues at the club taken care of during the summer break.

“It has been a very difficult season for everyone connected to the club,” Rooney told Sky Sports.

“We need to get everything sorted as soon as possible off the pitch to give ourselves the best chance of moving forward as a club.

“It has to start tonight. We have to have positive news and move forward as a club. We cannot have another season like this because it won’t end well.

“The lads have done everything to make sure it doesn’t this season and I can’t stress enough how good they have been in a very difficult moment.

“Thankfully the season is done and we have done what we set out to do. I am delighted for the players. They have given me everything.

“Today at half-time I said, ‘Stay calm, we have 45 minutes left we can still win the game and manage it how we need to manage it.’

“I am really pleased for them because they put a lot of work in. For the fans, we will get better, I can assure them of that.”

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