Tuesday 28 January 2020

'He almost reminds me of myself' - Wayne Rooney has high praise for Ireland midfielder

Jason Knight. Photo: Sportsfile
Jason Knight. Photo: Sportsfile

Derby County player coach Wayne Rooney has lavished praise on young Ireland midfielder Jason Knight.

Knight has enjoyed a decent year, making his debut for Derby while playing his way into Stephen Kenny's Ireland Under-21 side.

"I've been really impressed with the way they've trained, particularly Knighty. His energy, his attitude. He almost reminds me of myself when I was younger in terms of no fear," Rooney told Rams TV.

"And he's got an aggression about him, not in terms of how he's tackling, but in terms of how he runs, how he gets about the pitch. I'm looking forward to see how they do as I feel he can give us a lot of energy and a lot of creativity."

Academy director Darren Wassall was equally impressed.

"You know what you are going to get with Jason when you pick him. He is the all-action guy on the pitch, he is ultra competitive, super fit, he can get around the pitch.

"He is certainly a coach's player because he goes a little bit unnoticed in terms of the flamboyant stuff but for hard work he puts in, he is unbelievable. He has got a great attitude, willingness to win, willingness to compete. He never gives up and he can get on the end of things because he is a box to box midfielder.

Derby first-team boss Phillip Cocu added: "Clever, energetic, technical ability is good. His running stats are unbelievable. What he covers in a game you rarely see, especially at this age. A typical box-to-box player. You can play him on the left wing, on the right wing, a defensive midfielder, he does the job. He's reliable."

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