Rooney tells Derby to be 'ready to take a few kicks' against 'direct' Cobblers in FA Cup tie
Rams skipper Wayne Rooney says Derby County have to be 'ready to take a few kicks' when they come up against the Cobblers in the FA Cup on Friday.
If selected, Rooney will make his second appearance at the PTS Academy Stadium after he played for Manchester United in their 3-1 victory in the League Cup three seasons ago.
County haven't lost since Rooney officially joined as player-coach, winning four and drawing one of five matches, but Cobblers will be hoping to change that in Friday's fourth round tie.
“We have to be professional on Friday," Rooney told RamsTV. "Watching how they play, they go direct a lot. They play with three centre backs and two strikers who go direct and make it tough for you.
“Second balls will be important tomorrow night and we have to be ready. We have to be ready to take a few kicks and be ready for the physical battle.
“Hopefully the time will then come for us to try and show our quality.”
Rooney, now 34, has won almost everything there is to win in the game, including the FA Cup when his United side Crystal Palace in the 2016 final, but his hunger for success remains undiminished.
“It’s a fantastic competition and I’ve been fortunate enough to win it," he added. "I have also lost in two finals which isn’t nice but it’s a competition I’m very fond of. I love it.
“It’s given me my greatest moment as a fan, in 1995 when Everton won it, beating Manchester United. It’s always a competition I love playing in, and it will be a tough game tomorrow night.
“Everyone knows what the FA Cup is. It draws so many surprises over the years, so we need to make sure we are not one of those teams who suffer that.”