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John Gregory tipped for Derby County return alongside Wayne Rooney – Derbyshire Live

John Gregory tipped for Derby County return alongside Wayne Rooney – Derbyshire Live

John Gregory’s globe-trotting post Derby County career could make another pit-stop at Pride Park as mentor for Wayne Rooney.

It has been claimed this afternoon that Gregory, now aged 66, could return to the club to work alongside Rooney and try to keep the club in the Championship.

There have been whispers for the last few days that could be on the agenda.

Now Football Insider claims Derby are “in advanced talks” to bring back Gregory, who was a double promotion-winning midfielder under Arthur Cox in the mid-to-late 1980s and manager for 14 tricky months at the start of this century.

He has since had spells on the sidelines at Maccabi Ahi Nazareth and FC Ashdod in Israel, FC Kairat in Kazakhstan and Chennaiyin in India, as well as at Crawley Town.

Rooney is the early frontrunner to replace Phillip Cocu but his odds have drifted slightly to 5/4, with John Terry now 5/2.

Gregory looked back on his time as a player with Derby in an interview for the club website earlier this year.

He said: The key to it all was the manager Arthur Cox – he kicked our backsides every day and expected the best from everybody. Arthur never got carried away, whether we lost or won – that kept both his feet and our feet on the floor.

“The Baseball Ground was a daunting place for the opposition to come to.

“It was an amazing transformation to see the state that we were in two years before that, but Arthur did a great job and was instrumental in it all.”

He added: “Whilst I never thought that we would be playing against the best teams around, Arthur always believed that it could happen, and he told us that.

“Without expecting too much, he sort of said that if we turn this place around, then once Derby County get going, they are very hard to stop because of their history and because of their tradition.

“That is how he sold the club to us and I bought into that dream – because it was one that I believed could happen.

“Even in the Third Division, Derby County were a big fish and you would see packed houses at every stadium because everybody wanted to come and watch us play.”

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