Millwall manager Gary Rowett believes the signing of Wayne Rooney was a very astute decision by his former club Derby County, South London Press report.
The Rams travel to The Den to take on Millwall this weekend.
The encounter is more than just three points. It can shape the Championship playoff scene, while the Rowett-factor adds extra spice for the Midland side.
Speaking to reporters ahead of the game, Rowett recognises Derby’s improvement of late and feels Rooney has been a big influence since his January arrival.
He has had a really positive impact – not just on the pitch, which you expect with someone of his quality, but also off the pitch. I can only imagine their players want to raise their game because he’s around and has been a top, top player. Since he has come in their results have been much, much better. He has been the catalyst they have hoped for. His signing has proven to be a very, very astute one.
Wayne Rooney’s impact:
Rooney joined Derby in January on an 18-month deal after leaving the MLS.
The former Manchester United midfielder has featured heavily, missing just one Championship game which was Sunday’s 3-0 win over Blackburn Rovers.
Derby’s form since January 1 has been excellent. 21 points from 12 games is top three form, and it has taken them to within five points of the playoff positions.
Millwall are three points ahead of Derby in eighth. A win for the Lions could push them into the top six, and all-but end the Rams’ slim hopes of another playoff finish.
Rowett has a decent record against Derby. Since leaving the club to join Stoke City in 2018, he has played against his former club twice, winning both games.