• Tom Alston

Rooney excited to have fans back in stadiums

Derby County’s interim manager Wayne Rooney is ‘delighted’ that fans will be in attendance at Saturday’s away clash with Millwall.

The Den will be housing 2,000 home fans for the first time since February, thanks to the new government guidelines which placed London in tier two.

Despite the Rams not being able to bring their supporters with them to an atmospheric ground, Rooney was still pleased with the news.

He said: “Yeah, I’m delighted there’s going to be fans there this Saturday. The players need to be excited for that, to play in front of fans again. It’s been so long.

“It’s important. Fans are a big part of this game and the quicker we can get them back in and start trying to get more fans at games the better it is for the game itself.”

When questioned on whether it is worth only allowing a select number of fans back into the stadium, Rooney answered: “My opinion is if you can get fans into any stadium, let’s get them in, because obviously for them it would be great to see the game live again.

Wayne Rooney looks on during the draw with Wycombe. Photo: Derby County FC.

“Hopefully for the teams like ourselves who can’t have fans back at the minute, we can get them in in the near future but I don’t think that should be a burden for the other teams who can actually get them in.”

With Derby being placed in tier three, they will have to continue playing their home matches behind closed doors with no supporters allowed in the ground.

The poor run of form continued for Derby last week with a 1-1 draw to Coventry City, and with another challenge at the weekend in the shape of a Millwall side who have only lost one game in their last five, Rooney remained confident, saying: “The players will be prepared. We’ll be ready for the challenge of trying to win the game.

“Their fans are going to be excited; they’ll give a lift to the Millwall players and I’m sure I’ll get a little bit of stick as well.

“I’m looking forward to it. It’s great when the fans are in and there’s banter going on,” he concluded.

By Tom Alston

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