(Reuters) - Derby County skipper Wayne Rooney will relish the “special” FA Cup reunion with Manchester United next month, manager Phillip Cocu has said.
The 34-year-old scored a penalty in Derby’s 4-2 victory over fourth-tier Northampton Town in Tuesday’s fourth-round replay to set up the meeting with United, where he spent 13 trophy-laden years and left as their record goalscorer.
It will be the first time Rooney faces United since playing against them for Everton in 2018 before a year-long stint at Major League Soccer outfit DC United.
“He comes back from the States, joins us and now plays his old club where he had a great career... it’s special ... I’m sure he will be ready,” Cocu told reporters.
Rooney has become a key player for the Championship side (second tier) since making his debut last month, scoring in his last three games.
“It’ll be a beautiful game not just for Wayne, but everyone at the club,” Cocu said.
“Maybe in the league table everybody expects them to be higher up, but that doesn’t mean they play bad football. It’s is an extremely strong team, but we’ll do everything in our power to create a great atmosphere and a great game.”
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford