Derby County‘s first competitive match since coming out of administration wasn’t in the league that they would have liked it to be in, but despite that they were victorious against Oxford United.
It has been a summer of turbulence for the Rams, but the light at the end of the tunnel finally emerged when lifelong fan and local businessman David Clowes rescued the club with his takeover.
A plethora of new faces have arrived since then, and against Karl Robinson’s side at Pride Park on Saturday afternoon there were nine new players in Liam Rosenior’s squad on the opening day of League One, and one of them – Conor Hourihane – was on hand to net the winning goal 10 minutes from time.
Quiz: Can you remember the score the last time Derby County played at these 26 stadiums?
The aforementioned Rosenior is in interim charge of Derby, having taken over following the abrupt departure of Wayne Rooney, who resigned from his role as manager in late June.
Now in charge of D.C. United in the MLS, Rooney took the time to send his former assistant Rosenior a message ahead of Derby’s curtain-raiser.
“Wayne called me on Friday to wish me good luck and he still cares deeply about the players here,” Rosenior said, per the Derby Telegraph.
“We have become close friends and I wish him luck in his new role.”
Rooney and Rosenior will have learnt a lot from each other during their time as a managerial partnership.
Therefore, it’s no surprise to see the former England international check in on his old right-hand man before his debut as the leader of a senior side.
Even though Rooney was the man in charge when he was in the dugout at Pride Park, Rosenior is clearly very well thought of as not only was he made the interim manager, but Blackpool also tried to head-hunt him for their own vacancy this summer.
There are seemingly plenty more good days ahead of Derby following their opening match success, and it will have done Rosenior no harm in landing the gig on a full-time basis.