Why didn't Wayne Rooney appear at Derby County's press conference today?

Credit: PA

Wayne Rooney didn't appear at the Derby County pre match press conference today over zoom, despite journalists expecting him to.

But there's no need for concern, writes ITV News Central Reporter Mark Kielesz-Levine - who was there.

We were told about an hour or so before that today's Press Conference would instead be with Assistant Manager Liam Rosenior.

But despite some speculation linking Wayne to the vacant manager position at Newcastle United, Derby fans can relax. 

Liam explained Wayne has a cold and thought it best to not be there, also adding that the absence was not Covid related and neither was he in Newcastle!

The coaching staff at Derby have done a very respectable job in the circumstances this season and if the Rams did not have the 12 point punishment imposed for entering administration, they would only be five points off the play-off places.

Liam acknowledged that speculation will always follow when a manager is doing a good job and Derby are now unbeaten in their last four matches- though they remain seven points adrift of safety as it stands. 

Assistant Manager Liam Rosenior says he's solely focused on the future of Rams

"My only focus is making sure this club gets back to where it deserves to be which is pushing for the Premier League."

I did ask Liam how happy he and Wayne were at Derby, he said they were 'delighted' to be at the club and that the only focus is to get the club back to where it deserves to be, pushing for the Premier League. 

Though Wayne's name may have been mentioned in the same breath as Newcastle United, he isn't considered to be in the top five names linked to the job.

In fact, ex-Rams boss Frank Lampard is more of a favourite than Wayne.

For now the focus of Rooney and his backroom staff is the West vs East Midlands clash against high flying Coventry at the weekend.