Jose reveals Rooney admiration
Fri, 12 Jul 2013 10:54:00
Ross County manager Derek Adams expects his side to be even more attacking this season as he looks to build on last term's heroics.
County confounded friend and foe alike by claiming a highly impressive fifth-placed finish in their debut SPL campaign, and have recruited half a dozen new faces on the back of that success.
Ben Gordon - who previously had a spell at Kilmarnock - and former Motherwell defender Steven Saunders have both moved to Ross-shire, along with Marc Klok, Melvin de Leeuw, Kevin Luckassen and Darren Maatsen.
"We'll probably play a wee bit different from last season, having taken in six new signings," said Adams.
"We've got different flair players to last season. We probably didn't have that until Ivan Sproule arrived in January, he was direct.
"We've good attacking options with Maatsen and De Leeuw. Klok is a midfield player and Luckassen a striker.
"Maatsen, Luckassen and De Leeuw are very direct and I think that'll be a good change.
"The Dutch boys have given us options. They're young, they're enthusiastic as well.
"We've got Ben Gordon, who has moved in at left-back, and we've got Steven Saunders, who can play right-hand-side, centre-half or right-back.
"All of them have moved in and it looks like they've been here for a while. They've all given us something different."
Adams is confident of replicating last season's efforts but accepts that there will be fresh challenges to face this time round, and they open their campaign away against the champions Celtic.
"It's great to be involved in the opening game in front of the Sky Sports cameras, a big occasion with the flag being unfurled. We did very well against them (Celtic) last season, so you never know we could surprise them.
"We know what the SPL's about now," he added. "I think next season we'll see big changes in a lot of teams because there's a lot of players that have left.
"We'd just like to finish as high as we possibly can. We were delighted with the campaign last year and we just want to continue that."
The 20-year-old midfielder will also have the option of staying a further year at Boundary Park after he impressed manager Lee Johnson in a pre-season friendly against Dinamo Bucharest.
The former Chelsea trainee, who is the son of Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, spent time on loan at Exeter last season and becomes the Latics' seventh summer signing.
The 27-year-old England striker was sent home from the club's pre-season tour just 16 hours after landing in Thailand due to a grade one hamstring tear and will now have treatment at United's training ground as he prepares for the upcoming campain.
Moyes has revealed that Rooney first felt his hamstring in training before leaving for Asia and, following tests upon landing, it was decided not to take any risks.
But when asked whether he would be ready for the new season, Moyes told MUTV: "Yeah, he'll be okay.
"We finished training and we just thought it looked as if he just tightened up a little bit.
"He was happy with it but when we came out we thought we better just take no chances and just double check it.
"He didn't train yesterday so we thought it would be worth seeing what it was and it was just a very very slight mark on his hamstring.
"We won't take any chances, there is no point in us risking him so we've sent him back and he'll get treatment."
He added: "It's disappointing.
"The day we left he just felt his hamstring tighten up right at the end of training and we felt there would be no problem.
"But after the long flight we decided we'd get him tested and scanned and there is just a small grade one injury there.
"So there is no point is us taking him another halfway round the world so we've sent him back."
Rooney revealed yesterday he was 'gutted' to be leaving the tour but shared his manager's opinion that the injury is unlikely to keep him out of the start of the new season.
"Gutted to have picked up a niggling injury especially as training was going so well, heading back to Manchester to have it assessed fully but early indications are nothing to worry about," he said on his Facebook page as he headed for the airport.
The hamstring problem means Rooney will miss the trips to Australia, Japan and Hong Kong, in addition to United's tour opener against Singha All Stars in Bangkok on Saturday.
If Rooney is only ruled out for a month it would mean he could feature in the Community Shield against Wigan at Wembley on August 11.
However, given his obvious lack of match practice, it is difficult to see how he could be involved in the following week's clash between England and Scotland, or start the Premier League opener at Swansea on August 17.
And the consortium could be willing to plough as much as Â£20m into Rovers, which would give boss Paul Dickov the opportunity to strengthen his squad.
Former Oldham boss Dickov is about to begin his first campaign in charge at the Keepmoat Stadium, having been hired in May when Brian Flynn moved into a director of football role.
Flynn led Rovers to the League One title last season, secured in dramatic fashion with a last-minute goal in a winner-takes-all showdown at Brentford, who had missed a penalty moments earlier.
Harry Forrester is Rovers' only summer signing so far, making the switch from last season's promotion rivals Brentford for an undisclosed fee.
The England striker flew out of Bangkok hours before Chelsea arrived after scans revealed a hamstring injury will keep him out for a month.
Conspiracy theorists have leapt on Rooney's departure as evidence his future at Old Trafford is limited given the forward is still to offer any indication that he wants to stay, despite United's repeated claims the 27-year-old is not for sale.
Chelsea are one of the clubs said to be interested in Rooney.
And whilst Mourinho accepted etiquette dictates that he should not discuss other clubs' players, the Blues boss could not resist.
He said: "I cannot speak about players from other teams but you know me...
"I have always said what I think and I like the player very much.
"I cannot say more than that. He is fast and direct. I like him but he is a Manchester United player."