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Wayne Rooney is urging more England managers to stop being ‘stubborn’ and consider moving abroad

Wayne Rooney has urged more England managers to stop being ‘stubborn’ and consider jobs abroad to improve and develop as coaches.

The former Manchester United and Everton striker is currently training in MLS with DC United, having left Derby County in the summer after being relegated to League One from the Championship.

Rooney has done well at Pride Park but was unable to help the team stay in the English second tier as a points deduction following the club’s bankruptcy meant they engaged in an uphill battle.

But rather than staying at Derby or taking a new job in England, Rooney shocked people by moving across the Atlantic for his second management job.

While the 36-year-old admits it’s a “gamble” he believes it will give him a chance to improve his coaching and thinks others should do the same, suggesting coaches in England can be too ‘stubborn’ to look elsewhere for work.

He told The Times: “It’s a chance to get out of my comfort zone and develop as a coach.

“I could have sat at home and waited – managers are usually sacked around this time and jobs would have come up, but I think in England we have the best league in the world and a great structure underneath and we’re a bit stubborn.

“Not enough managers take that risk and challenge themselves by going abroad. Too many just wait and see what happens in England.

“Going abroad is a gamble, but I believe in myself and you might say, ‘What’s a safe option?’ Whatever club you go to, as a manager your job is not secure. I just thought this was a way to further my education.

“Yes I played at the top but you go back to first place and I am at the beginning of my coaching career and you have to put in the work to get where you want to be. I want to learn, get better, develop further.”

Rooney also pointed to new Chelsea manager Graham Potter as a prime example of how coaching abroad can help generate ideas as a manager when he revealed he had spoken to him about club management.

He said: “I spoke to Graham last year. I had a few hours with him on Zoom and he walked me through his journey. He was good, interesting. He shared his ideas and I shared my ideas about how I work.

“It’s good to bounce ideas off another manager – I’ve done something similar with Gareth Southgate and a few others.

“Look at Graham or Arsène Wenger who went to Asia. [José] Mourinho has been to different places. Fergie started with small clubs in Scotland. Patrick Vieira made it here (at New York City FC) and went to France.

“Everyone has a different path, but they all did what they did to educate themselves and improve. Sometimes as a manager you just take the job that’s there and work your way up from there.

“You look at Klopp – he’s so engaged and emotionally in tune with his players.”

Rooney had just 18 days out of work after leaving Derby before joining DC United. He hasn’t had a dream start as the club are still bottom of the MLS Eastern Conference after winning two of their 11 games in charge.

He said: “I’m rebuilding a club, rebuilding a squad and a big attraction is working with different nationalities, not just players but staff too.

“My goal is to be at the top one day and that (a multinational environment) is what you get at top clubs.

“I checked and thought it’s a great opportunity to experience it.”

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