Wayne Rooney says Derby County know they need to take more risks in the final third to get back into the goalscoring groove.
Derby have found goals hard to come by in the 2020/21 campaign, netting five times in their opening 12 matches.
Rooney, who is England and Manchester United’s all-time leading goalscorer, believes the Rams have the quality going forward to make the goals flow once more.
The 35-year-old is part of a four-man coaching team leading the side, alongside Liam Rosenior, Shay Given and Justin Walker, following Phillip Cocu’s departure earlier this month – and says it’s important for the squad to understand the qualities they have.
One of the big things Rooney understands well from the art of goalscoring is that confidence plays a big part, as well as having the ability to take risks in the final third and get in the right positions.
“I think confidence is a big key,” Rooney told RamsTV ahead of Wednesday night’s game with Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium (7pm kick-off).
“I think we are trying to play a different way to how we have done previously this season in terms of getting more bodies forward and being a bit more adventurous, taking a few more risks.
“It is also about the attacking the players having trust that the lads behind them will cover for them. Players will have to run back, they will be out of position in terms of how we want them to attack, so it is the players understanding and having trust in that method which we want them to execute.
“For an attacking player when you’re scoring goals you are confident. If you’re not then that confidence might take a hit. It is on us to instil that belief in the players and make them understand the qualities they have; whether that is a wide player, a midfield player or a forward player.”
The 35-year-old former England skipper added: “I think, ultimately, it is about getting bodies in the box and players gambling and taking risks at the right time to be ready to score.
“The hardest thing in football is to score. If you don’t put yourself in the positions, it is a lot harder.”
Rooney has more than 300 career goals to his name, including seven in a Derby shirt since joining the club earlier this year.