Wayne Rooney says Man United’s stars were grafters as he makes Derby demand

Wayne Rooney says any work-shy Derby players face the axe after insisting even Manchester United’s winners were grafters.

Rooney has recently shipped out midfielder Duane Holmes to Championship rivals Huddersfield.

Holmes left with criticism from Rooney ringing in his ears after the rookie Rams boss slammed his work ethic.

Ahead of Bristol City’s visit on Saturday, Scouser Rooney explained where his mentality came from.

Manchester United and England’s record scorer Rooney,35, said: “I grew up in an area where if I wanted something I had to work hard to get it.

“That has always stuck with me throughout life. But what people don’t see, or perhaps misunderstand, is I was part of a really successful Manchester United team.

Rooney won every major domestic honour and the Champions League too with United

“The foundation of us doing well and winning trophies was working hard. It wasn’t this flashy type of football. We weren’t a Man City now who might like to make 700 or 800 passes.

“We were a team who were ruthless , who worked hard and were a great counter-attacking team. The top teams do it so why would I not demand that from my players.”

Rooney’s demands didn’t sit naturally with USA midfielder Holmes who has now left.

He made just four starts under Rooney and was subbed every time as the new permanent Derby boss made his feelings clear.

Rooney, who stepped up to take sole charge in November, elaborated: “I played with Duane and it is different when you become the manager.

“You have to be ruthless in your decisions. I like Duane as a person, he is a good bubbly character, but he didn’t fit into my plans. I want the players working every day on the training pitch.

“It is important. I spoke to every player in a meeting and I explained if you don’t put the work in, I don’t want you at this football club. Unfortunately for Duane he fell into that category, which is a shame because he has fantastic ability.

“I am an honest person and true to my word. If you are not putting the work in, then I don’t want you.”

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