New Derby County winger Kamil Jóźwiak has hailed Wayne Rooney as ‘a great captain’, revealing the veteran is akin to an assistant manager on the pitch.
Jóźwiak arrived at Pride Park in the summer transfer window, with Derby paying £3.87m to sign him from Polish side Lech Poznan.
He’s enjoyed a solid life to start in England, starting all three of Derby’s championship games so far and bagging an assist in the opening day defeat to Luton Town.
A place in the first-team means gets to star alongside Rooney, who has been at Derby since the beginning of the year when he elected to return to England from MLS.
He was quickly made captain by manager Philip Cocu, who was keen to make use of the veteran midfielder’s experience and leadership experience.
That is something Jóźwiak has experienced first hand, with him revealing what Rooney is like behind the scenes.
“Krystian (Bielik) wrote me to prepare a song for myself, but since Wayne Rooney is the captain, it’s probably a bit worse with these baptisms,” he told Weszlo.
“There is nothing like that; he is not very eager to do it. The other thing is, he’s a great captain.
“When I was finalising the move, he came to me, asked if he needed anything and how I felt in England. A small gesture, but, amazingly, such a great footballer is interested in everything. A real leader.
“When he talks in the dressing room, everyone listens to him. He’s a bit of a playing assistant. He has a lot to say.”
While Jóźwiak has had a solid if uninspiring start to life in England, Derby’s start to the season has been anything but ideal.
Defeat to Luton was quickly followed by 4-0 hammering at the hands of Blackburn Rovers, a game in which the Rams were 3-0 down in the first 15 minutes.
Things have since picked up courtesy of a 1-0 win over Norwich, although questions still remain about their form and style of play.
The latter is something Jóźwiak is hoping will change, saying he wants the team to adopt a more attacking approach.
“In the first game against Luton I felt very good, then it was a bit worse, but I don’t feel bad overall. Everyone says it’s a more physical league, but I wouldn’t say it is,” he added.
“We were better with Luton, we got three quick hits from Blackburn, and then the coach decided to change the system a bit.
“At the beginning, we played like Lech. We tried to build the game from the back, play short passes and that scolded us.
“Obviously, this is not a style of play that I really like. We have to stand low as wingers. Focus on defence.
“But okay, I can always learn something. I hope that we will play offensively in the next matches. We needed points. We felt more confident.”