Wayne Rooney has indicated that he will make changes to his starting line-up for Derby County’s Carabao Cup Round One clash against Salford City on Tuesday night.
The Derby boss has stressed, despite shuffling his pack, that he will still name a strong side to face the League Two outfit at Pride Park Stadium (7:45pm kick-off).
Rooney has insisted that the changes don’t mean he isn’t taking the game or competition seriously and he believes the side that will take to the field will be more than capable of achieving a positive result.
“I will play a strong team, but there will be a few changes,” Rooney told RamsTV.
“I never like doing too many as I want this club to go on a good cup run, but I think it would be good for everyone.
“I am confident in the team that will start and I am confident that that team can go out there and win the game.”
He added: “We will be ready. I believe we will have enough to go out and get the victory we want.”
Derby faced Salford, managed by former Rams Academy Coach Gary Bowyer, only a few weeks ago in a pre-season friendly at their Peninsula Stadium home.
The hosts were 2-1 winners on the day, but Rooney isn’t reading too much into that result given he utilised 20 players in the game.
“We played Salford in pre-season, but at that stage it was about fitness and preparing for the season,” he said.
“We know what Salford will be about and they are a difficult team to play against.
“They are physical and get the ball forward, but they also try and play. We are well prepared and ready to get out here.”
Derby got their 2021/22 Sky Bet Championship campaign started with a 1-1 draw at home to Huddersfield Town on Saturday.
An own goal by Levi Samuels Colwill handed the Rams the lead six minutes before the break, but the visitors struck back to equalise a few minutes later as Naby Sarr headed home.
Despite being disappointed at not picking up all three points, Rooney was also ultimately pleased to ensure his side got something for their efforts on the opening day.
Reflecting on the weekend, Rooney said: “I thought it was a good point in the end.
“We were pleased with the point; I thought the lads were excellent in their character and attitude.
“They are desperate to play for this club and what I said from them was very good. I am pleased with them and now we have another game to look forward to.”