Midfielder Duane Holmes has praised the impact Derby County captain Wayne Rooney has had on himself and his Rams team-mates since making his debut at the start of January.

Rooney, who officially joined Derby on 1st January, has made a telling impact since his re-introduction to life in English football.

He has helped the Rams to just one defeat in 10 games and has contributed three goals in as many matches.

The opening goal in last week's 3-2 loss against Luton Town was followed by a sumptuous free kick against Stoke City at Pride Park Stadium in a convincing 4-0 victory last Friday.

He also contributed by scoring a penalty in their 4-2 success against Northampton Town in midweek to secure an FA Cup Fifth Round tie against his former club Manchester United next month.

It’s not just his goals that have helped, but his calming persona and winning attitude have really influenced the Derby squad.

Holmes, who made his 50th league appearance for the Rams against the Potters last Friday, believes the skipper is helping him to improve his own game.

“Wayne coming in gives me the freedom for me to get forward more and I feel like I am performing better since he’s come in,” he told RamsTV, previewing this weekend’s Sky Bet Championship trip to Swansea City.

“I think the team are too in general. Having a player like Wayne helps a lot. He’s a winner. He wants to win all the time.

“He gets frustrated when he’s not winning and his quality on the ball comes out every day. It’s good for us to learn off a player like him.”

And sometimes the USA international midfielder just has to stand in awe of the skipper, who is England’s all-time leading goalscorer with 53 goals.

“For the Crystal Palace FA Cup tie last month, we had Wayne and Tom Huddlestone in the hole in midfield and it was like they were having a passing competition,” he said.

“It was great to watch and appreciate how good Wayne is. The crowd love to see the long sweeping passes and the one to Martyn Waghorn against Northampton Town late in the game was a great pass.

“It just shows his class to be able to do that in the 90th minute and as players we can only get better playing with him.”