Wayne Rooney slammed Manchester United's players after Erik ten Hag made reference to the Red Devils' questionable attitudes following Sunday's defeat to Arsenal.

Ten Hag's side were hammered 4-0 on Monday away to Crystal Palace and followed that up with a 1-0 defeat to Arsenal, leaving them eighth in the league table and three points adrift of the top six.

The United manager was quizzed on the difference between the two performances, suggesting the differing showings had been down to players' "attitude".

Rooney, speaking on Sky Sports, echoed Ten Hag's sentiments as he questioned the application of United's underwhelming performers.

"I've said this a few weeks ago, the players need to look at themselves," the United and England great said. 

"When you've got your manager during an interview and he's talking about attitude and attitudes not being right, that is a massive insult.

"If I saw my manager saying that, there is no way I'd let that ride until the end of the season. I feel some players are just trying to get to the end of the season so I feel for him in that way.

"Ultimately, it's his job to make sure the players are right."

Ten Hag has failed to get a tune out of United, dropping out of the Champions League in the group stage and suffering in the Premier League, with their only hope the upcoming FA Cup final with Manchester City.

The Red Devils have lost 19 games in all competitions this season, their most since 1977-78 (also 19), while their nine defeats at Old Trafford this term is their joint-most at home in a single campaign.

United have also conceded in 10 successive games in all competitions for the first time since October 2021, while the 82 goals they have conceded this season is their most since 1970-71 (also 82).

Ten Hag has had to deal with injuries to the likes of Lisandro Martinez, Harry Maguire and Marcus Rashford among others, with Rooney doubling down on his criticism of United's players.

"As we look at the injuries, some of them players can play," the former Everton and Derby County boss continued, with Bruno Fernandes also absent for the Arsenal clash.

"It's easy, you've got a European Championship coming up, an FA Cup final coming up. It's easy for the players, because they're getting a bit of stick now, to stay out for a little bit and come back for the FA Cup final and get ready for the European Championships.

"I've seen it myself over the years, I just think the players who are injured are not filling themselves with any credit at the minute and the manager is going to take all the stick for that."

Phil Foden’s stunning hat-trick against Aston Villa stirred up memories of a young Wayne Rooney as the Manchester City midfielder continues to impress this season.

The 23-year-old starred on Wednesday night, restoring City’s lead just before half-time with a free-kick and adding a second in the 62nd minute before completing his treble shortly after.

His performance drew comparisons with Rooney post-match, with TNT Sports host Laura Woods saying: “The third goal, especially. We were chatting about this a second ago, Rio (Ferdinand) was saying it was almost like your Wayne Rooney moment, that something doesn’t go right, you get angry, and you bang in a goal.”

Foden replied: “You know it’s funny you said that because as I was celebrating I was walking with Jackie (Grealish), he also said about the Wayne Rooney goal, said ‘that’s what it reminded me of’.”

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at how the two players compare.


Wednesday night’s discussion about the two players came following the similarity in the type of goal scored.

Foden’s third goal sparked the conversation as he secured his hat-trick in sensational style with a thumping top-corner finish just moments after losing the ball outside the box.

The comparison to Rooney’s goal against Newcastle in 2005 followed, where the forward smashed an incredible volley from outside the area into the top corner just moments are complaining to the referee about a foul that was not given.

Introduction to senior football

Both players had slightly different introductions to senior football, with Rooney quickly making a name for himself in the top flight.

The striker made his senior debut for Everton in 2002 aged 16 against Tottenham and scored his first Premier League goal for the Toffees in October that year with a long-range curling shot past England goalkeeper David Seaman which bounced in off the underside of the bar.

Rooney netted 17 goals in 77 appearances before moving to Manchester United in 2004, but compared to Rooney’s breakthrough, Foden has gradually eased into the senior team at Manchester City.

After impressing in City’s youth set-up and for England in the Under-17 World Cup, Foden was included in several matchday squads before making his senior bow as a substitute for City in their Champions League clash against Feyenoord in November 2017.

He earned his full debut in the competition the following month before making his Premier League bow against Tottenham 10 days later and Foden made five league appearances in total for the club in the 2017-18 season, gradually cementing his spot in the City line-up over the following seasons.

Style of play

Although Rooney was deployed as a striker for the most part, he was able to play across the forward line and used his pace well to score and create goals.

As well as being involved in wider positions, towards the end of his time with United Rooney dropped into midfield, especially under manager Louis van Gaal.

Foden displays a similar versatility and the left-footed midfielder can play out wide or in attacking midfield.

His best performances seem to come from a more central position, which is where he played against Villa and admitted post-match that he prefers playing in the middle.

Manager Pep Guardiola also believes playing centrally benefits Foden and said: “When Phil plays in a central position he has a sense for goals and he proved it again.”


After bagging his second hat-trick of the season, Foden now moves onto 21 goals in all competitions, a career best for him.

His first senior treble came in the Manchester derby last campaign where Foden and Erling Haaland both scored three times in City’s 6-3 hammering of their neighbours.

Foden now has three Premier League hat-tricks to his name at the age of 23 and only needs another four to draw level with Rooney, who scored seven in the league.

His total Premier League tally adds up to 49 goals, with 81 in his Manchester City career overall, but he still has plenty of catching up to do with Rooney, who scored 208 times in the top flight and bagged a club-record 253 for Manchester United.

England’s all-time record scorer Harry Kane opened his international goal account within 80 seconds of making a “dream” debut on this day in 2015.

Kane netted almost immediately after coming on as a 70th-minute substitute against Lithuania at Wembley, wrapping up a 4-0 win with a thumping far-post header.

The then 21-year-old, who had already scored 29 goals for Tottenham that season, was given a standing ovation as he took to the field and it did not take him long to get the sell-out crowd back on their feet as, with one of his first touches, he found the back of the net.

Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Raheem Sterling scored England’s other goals, but the headlines belonged to Kane after a one-sided Euro 2016 qualifier.

Asked if he knew how long he had taken to get off the mark, Kane said: “Maybe a minute? Eighty seconds? Hey, it’s not too bad!

“It’s the start I dreamed of, it’s a little bit of a blur at the minute. It’s the best moment by far, to represent your country at senior level is the top. Hopefully I can keep doing it and it’s the first of many.”

It was a dream start which impressed then England captain Rooney – a man who knew a thing about coping with pressure and scoring goals and whose national-record of 53 goals Kane surpassed in March 2023.

“It’s fantastic, international football’s different and to score after 80 seconds is incredible for Harry,” he told ITV. “We’re all delighted and hopefully it’s the first of many.”

All those involved were quick to try and keep a lid on expectations, but given Kane now stands alone at the top of England’s goalscoring charts, they clearly knew what they were seeing.

“It is fantastic for Harry,” manager Roy Hodgson said. “We’re so delighted for him. It is a bit of a fairytale, but it’s nice when fairytales come true and it’s come true for Harry.”

“He’s crowned his England debut with a well-taken goal. Couldn’t be better really. It’s a very satisfying evening for us. I think it’s too early to put this pressure on Harry Kane. We should just be happy that he has done so well for Tottenham and made a name for himself to get into the England set-up.

“That’s not easy to do as we have a number of good forwards but let’s be happy with that and leave the future predictions to the future.”

Wayne Rooney says he would walk to Manchester City if Pep Guardiola asked him to become his assistant.

Rooney became Manchester United’s record scorer during 13 years at Old Trafford from 2004, scoring 253 goals in 559 appearances for the Red Devils.

The former England captain was linked with a move to City after handing in a transfer request at United in 2010.

Rooney eventually patched up his differences with manager Sir Alex Ferguson and stayed at Old Trafford for another seven years.

But, less than two months after his 15-game spell as Birmingham manager came to an end, the 38-year-old admits he would be open to the idea of working on the blue side of Manchester.

“It depends (on whether I’d ever be an assistant) – if Pep Guardiola comes in and asks me to be his assistant, you’d walk there,” Rooney told the Stick to Football podcast.

“You see what (Mikel) Arteta is doing now (at Arsenal) and I strongly believe a lot of that is from learning what Guardiola was doing, and so it depends on what the situation is.

“For me, the best manager is Pep and you look at how he adapts – how they (City) are playing now is not the same as how they were playing four years ago.

“He keeps making these subtle changes and then you see everyone else trying to do the same. They also work harder than anyone else.”

City, the English, European and FIFA World Club Cup champions, are 12 points better off in the Premier League than sixth-placed United, and Rooney says it is “frustrating” watching his former team under Erik ten Hag.

He said: “There’s talent in there. But I just think there’s a mindset that needs to change.

“You watch some games and I think, ‘Really good’. But then all of a sudden it’s like a switch that’s been flicked.

“They can go from being really good to really bad. There’s a lack of consistency.”

Rooney has been linked to a possible switch to boxing, with the self-confessed fight fan confirming there have been talks to get him in the ring.

He also expressed an interest in becoming a lawyer during a recent media interview, saying he had applied to Nottingham University to study criminal law when he was at Derby.

Rooney laughed on the podcast when recalling telling lawyers what to ask during his wife Coleen’s ‘Wagatha Christie’ libel trial with Rebekah Vardy in 2022.

But Rooney insists his focus is firmly on returning to management after spells at Derby, Major League Soccer side DC United and Birmingham.

“It’s all experience – I’m only 38, I’ve had three managerial jobs but I’ve got quite a bit of experience to lean on,” said Rooney.

“If you look at the three clubs I’ve managed, going in at Derby under their circumstances in administration, DC United who were bottom of the league when I went over there, and now Birmingham, who over the past 10 years have been a mess.

“I want to focus on getting back into management. The main thing for me is to completely cut out what I’ve done as a player and almost start again as a manager.

“Of course, my playing experience will help me, but I’m right at the bottom from a managerial point of view, and I want to work my way up.

“I’m not relying on what I’ve done as a player to get me into places that I shouldn’t be.

“I want to get back into managing and I want to prove myself – whether that’s League Two, League One or Championship.”

Wayne Rooney ended speculation over his future to sign a new five-and-a-half-year contract at Manchester United on this day in 2014.

The forward had been linked with a move away from Old Trafford months earlier after Sir Alex Ferguson retired and was replaced by David Moyes.

With only 18 months to go on his deal, Rooney agreed fresh terms until the summer of 2019 and made clear his ambition to break Sir Bobby Charlton’s record of 249 goals for the Red Devils.


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On a new contract worth up to £300,000 a week, Rooney would spend another three seasons at United and finish with 253 goals from 559 appearances.

The attacker broke Charlton’s record on January 21, 2017 with a free-kick at Stoke and a week later was presented with a commemorative Golden Boot to acknowledge him becoming the club’s all-time leading goalscorer.

After five Premier League titles, three League Cups, plus solitary success in the Champions League, Europa League, Club World Cup and FA Cup, Rooney left Old Trafford to return to boyhood side Everton.

His second spell at Goodison Park was short-lived and, after stints with DC United in the United States and at Derby in the Championship, Rooney retired from professional football at the start of 2021 to take over as manager of the Rams.

The former England captain also bettered Charlton’s record of 49 goals for his country and finished with 53 from 120 appearances, but was overtaken by Harry Kane last year.

Rooney was most recently manager of Birmingham.

A stoppage-time goal from Koji Miyoshi earned Birmingham a 2-1 win over Hull in their FA Cup third-round replay.

The result earned Tony Mowbray his first victory since taking over as manager at St Andrew’s following the sacking of Wayne Rooney.

Birmingham had to come back from a goal down to win the tie after Jason Lokilo’s first goal for Hull put them ahead after 12 minutes.

Mowbray made five substitutions just past the hour-mark and it was a move that changed the game.

Two of those substitutes scored, with Jay Stansfield equalising three minutes after coming on.

Both sides named differing line-ups for the tie, with Birmingham making seven changes from the weekend and Hull 11, presumably with Friday’s match against Sunderland in mind.

Birmingham threatened more in the opening minutes, with Keshi Anderson and Gary Gardner testing goalkeeper Matt Ingram.

However, it was Hull who opened the scoring in the 12th minute with a superbly executed move.

Billy Sharp, in his first start for Hull, made the most of a slip by Krystian Bielik and found James Furlong on the left. His cross was converted first time by Lokilo from eight yards.

The former Crystal Palace youngster made a summer move to Humberside from Dutch side Sparta Rotterdam.

Hull went in search of a second goal, but Greg Docherty’s long-range effort swung away from the target.

Birmingham sensed an equaliser and when Jordan James delivered a ball into the area, Romelle Donovan just failed to connect with it in front of goal.

Gardner’s overhead kick was met by Bielik six minutes before the break, but he headed wide of the target.

Blues goalkeeper John Ruddy kept his side’s deficit to one goal when he made an important save from Hull forward Tyrell Sellars-Fleming.

Jordan James responded for Mowbray’s side with an angled shot that flew just wide of the far post.

Mowbray’s raft of changes had an immediate effect as two substitutes combined to score the equaliser. Miyoshi’s shot was pushed out by Ingram, with Stansfield converting the rebound for his eighth goal of the season.

Siriki Dembele almost scored a second for Birmingham when he floated a long-range effort narrowly wide.

With extra-time looming, Miyoshi forced the ball home after being supplied by Stansfield to book a fourth-round trip to Leicester.

Luke Littler became the youngest player ever to reach the final of the World Darts Championship when he defeated Rob Cross on Tuesday.

The 16-year-old now has a shot at claiming an historic place in the sport as he takes aim at the title at Alexandra Palace.

Here, the PA news agency looks at some of sport’s other teenage prodigies in recent years.

Wayne Rooney – 16 years old

Though his breakthrough moment undoubtedly came when he scored past David Seaman from 30 yards in October 2002 to end champions Arsenal’s 30-game unbeaten Premier League run, Rooney had actually made his senior Everton debut two months earlier against Tottenham, setting up a goal for Mark Pembridge in a 2-2 draw.

England’s Euro 2004 opener against France in Portugal shot him to international stardom before he signed for Manchester United later that summer, going on to become all-time top scorer for both United (253) and for England (53), though his international tally has since been surpassed by Harry Kane.

Ronnie O’Sullivan – 17

O’Sullivan became the youngest-ever winner of a ranking event when, aged 17, he beat Stephen Hendry to claim the 1993 UK Snooker Championship. Two years later, he was victorious in the 1995 Masters to add another record to his CV by the age of 19, both accolades that he still holds.

Victory in the 2022 Snooker World Championship was his eighth, drawing him level with Hendry for most wins, as he has lived up to the excitement that accompanied his arrival onto the scene more than 30 years ago to become one of the sport’s all-time greats.

Sky Brown – 13

The skateboarder became the UK’s youngest-ever Olympian when she competed at the Tokyo games aged just 13 and followed it up by becoming the country’s youngest medal winner when she took bronze in the women’s park skateboarding event.

She has continued to set records in the years since, most recently by becoming the first British winner at the skateboarding World Championships in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates in February 2023.

Cesc Fabregas – 16

Fabregas became Arsenal’s youngest-ever player when he made his first-team debut in a League Cup tie against Rotherham at Highbury in September 2003 and clocked another club record when he scored his first goal in the next round in a 5-1 win over Wolves.

It was the following season though that his true breakthrough arrived, taking up a regular place in the team’s midfield aged 17 at the start of the 2003/04 season as they sought to defend the title won the previous campaign. He went on to win two league titles with Chelsea as well as the 2010 World Cup and two European Championships with Spain.

Gianluigi Donnarumma – 16

AC Milan were in the midst of their decade-long barren spell when Donnarumma was thrust into the first team at the age of 16 in 2015, preferred to the veteran club legend Christian Abbiati and former number one Diego Lopez.

Standing at a height of 6ft 5in, he took up the mantel of first-choice goalkeeper with a stature that defied his young years, and the following year became Italy’s second-youngest ever goalkeeper when he made his international debut in a friendly against France. He has since helped the team to win Euro 2020 where he saved two penalties in the final shootout against England.

Wayne Rooney has been sacked as manager of Birmingham after less than three months in charge and says he will “take some time to get over” his dismissal.

The former Manchester United and England striker has overseen just two wins in 15 games following his controversial appointment at St Andrew’s in October.

Supporters called for Rooney’s removal as the side slumped to a 3-0 defeat at Leeds on New Year’s Day. The result left the club 20th in the table having been sixth when Rooney took charge.

Rooney, however, has said he does not feel he was given long enough and it would take a while to recover from the decision.

A club statement read: “Birmingham City has today parted company with manager Wayne Rooney and first-team coach Carl Robinson.

“Despite their best efforts, results have not met the expectations that were made clear at the outset. Therefore, the board feels that a change in management is in the best interests of the football club.”

Rooney has said he is now planning to take a break from the game.

The 38-year-old, who has previously managed at Derby and DC United, said in a statement: “Football is a results business – and I recognise they have not been at the level I wanted them to be.

“However, time is the most precious commodity a manager requires and I do not believe 13 weeks was sufficient to oversee the changes that were needed.

“Personally, it will take me some time to get over this setback. I have been involved in professional football, as either a player or manager, since I was 16.

“Now, I plan to take some time with my family as I prepare for the next opportunity in my journey as a manager.”

Rooney was controversially brought in at the expense of popular former boss John Eustace by the club’s new ownership group. A takeover by a company owned by American businessman Tom Wagner was completed last summer.

Eustace had lifted Blues away from relegation trouble during a 15-month spell.

Chief executive Garry Cook said: “We are committed to doing what is necessary to bring success to St Andrew’s.

“Unfortunately, Wayne’s time with us did not go as planned and we have decided to move in a different direction.

“The search for a successor begins with immediate effect and we will update supporters when we have further news.”

Professional development coach Steve Spooner will take responsibility for men’s first-team matters on an interim basis.

Wayne Rooney’s short tenure as Birmingham manager has come to an end with his sacking on Tuesday morning.

The former England striker, who signed a three-and-a-half-year contract at St Andrew’s in October, headed into the role with a 27 per cent win rate across his first two jobs with Derby and DC United – an overall figure that has dropped to 26 per cent.

Here, the PA news agency looks at his record in detail.


Rooney moved from his playing role at Derby into the manager’s seat, initially sharing the job with Liam Rosenior, Shay Given and Justin Walker before taking sole charge.

They were bottom of the Championship at the time but climbed to 18th, eight points clear of the relegation zone, before a late-season slump saw them survive by just a point.

Their relegation the following season came after a total of 21 points were deducted – 12 for entering administration and nine for historical financial breaches.

They rallied with three successive wins in December 2021 and 10 in their final 25 games of the season and without the deductions would have finished 17th on 55 points.

He won 24, drew 22 and lost 39 of his 85 games as manager, including those with the managerial group in charge, for a 28.2 per cent win rate.

DC United

That win percentage dipped to 25.9 with DC United as Rooney was unable to make his mark as a head coach in Major League Soccer.

His side were mathematically eliminated from play-off contention in the 2023 season despite the win over New York City on October 8 that marked the end of Rooney’s reign.

Rooney’s “mutually agreed” departure came with him having been boss for the whole of that season and the last 15 of the 2022 campaign.

His final record in all competitions, including two games in the US Open Cup and three in the Leagues Cup, read won 14, drew 14, lost 26.


Rooney was appointed as boss of Birmingham – who were taken over by United States-based Shelby Companies Limited in July and had seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady become a minority owner the following month – two days on from the sacking of John Eustace while lying sixth in the Championship table.

He spoke of the goal of promotion, but defeat in his first match, 1-0 at Middlesbrough, set the tone and another 14 games later he departs with the team languishing in 20th place.

Blues registered victories in only two of Rooney’s 15 matches, with nine losses, for a win percentage of 13.3.

That gives him an overall managerial record of 40 wins from 154 games (26 per cent), with 40 draws and 74 defeats.

Wayne Rooney has been sacked as manager of Sky Bet Championship club Birmingham.

The former Manchester United and England striker has overseen just two wins in 15 games following his controversial appointment at St Andrew’s in October.

Supporters called for Rooney’s removal as the side slumped to a 3-0 defeat at Leeds on New Year’s Day.

A club statement read: “Birmingham City has today parted company with manager Wayne Rooney and first-team coach Carl Robinson.

“Despite their best efforts, results have not met the expectations that were made clear at the outset. Therefore, the board feels that a change in management is in the best interests of the football club.

Chief executive Garry Cook said: “We are committed to doing what is necessary to bring success to St Andrew’s.

“Unfortunately, Wayne’s time with us did not go as planned and we have decided to move in a different direction.

“The search for a successor begins with immediate effect and we will update supporters when we have further news.”

Blues – now 20th in the table – were sixth when Rooney was brought in by the club’s new ownership group at the expense of popular former boss John Eustace.

Eustace had taken charge 15 months previously and successfully steered the club away from relegation.

A change of thinking at the club came last summer after a takeover by a company owned by American businessman Tom Wagner.

Wayne Rooney was pleased to see Birmingham keep a clean sheet after his side drew 0-0 with Bristol City at St Andrew’s.

Rooney, who has had only two wins from his first 14 games as Blues boss, unashamedly admitted that after shipping nine goals in the previous three matches, he wanted to end that defensive rot.

“I am really pleased with the clean sheet, from the last three games and the goals we have conceded,” he said.

“I thought we could have done more in attacking areas but we defended well as a group, we were compact, were hard to play through and really nullified Bristol’s opportunities.

“It wasn’t a classic to watch I get that but we had to really have a big priority today in keeping a clean sheet.

“You always want more and with the three changes I tried to bring some energy on to give us a bit of a boost.

“When you are conceding goals you look at what you can do to change that, we want to play more attacking and entertaining football moving forward – but we had to really prioritise not conceding tonight.

“When you are conceding goals you have to make a decision if you want to go full out and try and score three, four goals. We have been scoring goals but we had to make sure we were solid – that was a gameplan for us today.

Liam Manning focused on the positives of a result that keeps Bristol City within three points of the play-off places.

Manning’s side dominated possession but were unable to produce a shot on target or break down a massed Birmingham defence.

Manny Longelo was the only player to work the goalkeeper, a weak drive straight at Max O’Leary in the first half, while Robins’ Anis Mehmeti had two chances to open the scoring before the break – and Manning was relatively content after extending his team’s unbeaten run to four games.

“In terms of the control we had I thought we probably created the better chances in terms of the two headers that Anis had,” Manning said.

“I thought we restricted them to very few chances, they had a couple of shots from distance but apart from that didn’t trouble us too often.

“It was just a case of whether we had the quality to break down their block.

“Unfortunately we didn’t have. But at the same point the big positives for me were a clean sheet and another game away from home where we pick up a point and we move on.

“They had a game plan to try and stop us which for me shows an element of respect for us and how far we have come as a group that we are coming away here and they are setting up to block at home.

“Let’s give credit to our lads for earning the right for them to do that. I felt if one team was going to win it it was going to be us.”

Birmingham manager Wayne Rooney admitted he could have replaced his whole team at half-time after a 3-1 Championship defeat to Stoke at St Andrew’s.

First-half goals from Jordan Thompson and Lynden Gooch put Stoke 2-0 ahead and Andre Vidigal made it three before Jay Stansfield’s 69th-minute consolation as Stoke ended a nine-match winless run and moved above Blues on goal difference.

Rooney has taken just nine points out of 39 since taking over, to leave Blues 19th in the table, just seven points clear of the relegation zone.

Rooney has suffered eight defeats and home fans began streaming out after Stoke’s third goal, while those that were left jeered the team off at the end.

“Ideally, you wish you could have 11 subs as I could have changed all 11 players at half-time,” said Rooney.

“We just weren’t doing the right things – the basics. It wasn’t lack of effort, that would be unfair to say. It was lack of game knowledge.

“It’s hard to put into words. I didn’t see that performance coming. I didn’t recognise the team out there on the pitch.

“It’s frustrating because over the last few games we’d made some real strides, so this was difficult to take.

“It wasn’t the result, or the performance, or anything we wanted to be honest. It was unrecognisable in the way we played.

“I felt the players didn’t want to take the ball, they didn’t press the way we wanted them to.

“The goals we conceded were crazy and we didn’t deserve anything out of the game.”

Stoke led in the 12th minute through Thompson’s 25-yard drive – his first strike for three years – which took a slight deflection off Juninho Bacuna.

Potter captain Gooch doubled their lead on the half-hour after darting down the left in a lightning counter-attack and poking the ball through goalkeeper John Ruddy’s legs.

The Potters made it 3-0 after 53 minutes when Vidigal beat Dion Sanderson before lifting the ball over Ruddy to send Birmingham fans heading for the exits.

The hosts pulled one back through Stansfield after goalkeeper Jack Bonham saved teenage substitute Romelle Donovan’s effort.

New Stoke head coach Steven Schumacher maintained his unbeaten start, making it four points from his first two games in charge and admitted a back-to-basics approach was working for him.

“What we’ve tried to do with the lads is just set some pretty basic, simple ground rules,” he said.

“These are about how we’re going to try to behave at the training ground and what we expect, what are the non-negotiables and how we’re going to try to play, with and without the ball.

“We showed some bits of quality so that was really pleasing and we managed to do enough to get the three points that we desperately wanted and needed.

“When you come into a job, you’re desperate just to get the first win and we’ve done that now.”

Stoke ended a nine-match winless streak to beat Birmingham 3-1 in the Championship and put manager Wayne Rooney into more trouble at St Andrew’s.

Victory for the Potters – secured by Jordan Thompson, Lynden Gooch and Andrew Vidigal before Jay Stansfield’s late consolation – was the first for new manager Steven Schumacher in his second match in charge, and the first since they beat Middlesbrough 2-0 on October 28.

Rooney can only look on in envy at the record of his former Everton youth team-mate as the former England and Manchester United captain has now taken nine points from a possible 39 available as Birmingham were jeered off.

Stansfield was twice denied as Birmingham started on the front foot.

But it was Stoke who stunned a raucous St Andrew’s by taking the lead after just 12 minutes.

Skipper Gooch’s shot was cleared off the line by Emanuel Aiwu after Vidigal’s cross was allowed to travel right across Blues’ box.

But the ball fell for Thompson, whose 25-yard bullet flew past goalkeeper John Ruddy into the bottom right-hand corner after being deflected off Juninho Bacuna.

Birmingham huffed and puffed as they tried to find a way back in to the game.

Boos rang out from frustrated home fans as Vidigal ballooned over on the half-hour mark when he should have scored as Birmingham’s back-four disappeared yet again.

The boos rang right around the ground just a minute later as Gooch darted down the left in a lightning counter before coolly slotting under Ruddy to double Stoke’s lead.

James held his head in his hands after coming within a whisker of sliding home Aiwu’s fantastic ball deep into the first 45.

But Vidigal nearly bagged a third for the visitors as he volleyed just over with Ruddy well off his line on the brink of half-time.

Marc Roberts wasted the chance to pull one back when he headed Bacuna’s dinked ball wide from five yards.

Birmingham were made to pay a heavy price as the Potters made it 3-0 after 54 minutes.

Wouter Burger fed Vidigal, who twisted inside skipper Dion Sanderson before lifting the ball over Ruddy to send shell-shocked Birmingham fans heading for the exits.

Stoke supporters chanted “You’re getting sacked in the morning” at Rooney as Blues struggled to lay a glove on them.

Ruddy smothered at the feet of Ryan Mmaee before the hosts grabbed a goal back after 69 minutes through Stansfield.

Teenage substitute Romelle Donovan, 17, saw his effort saved by keeper Jack Bonham after a brilliant mazy run before the loose ball was swept in by Stansfield.

Plymouth director of football Neil Dewsnip was delighted with managerless Argyle’s comeback from 3-1 down to record a 3-3 Championship draw with Wayne Rooney’s Birmingham.

Despite being reduced to 10 men by the early second-half dismissal of Krystian Bielik, City raced into 3-1 lead thanks to goals by Jay Stansfield, Jordan James and Junino Bacuna, who set-up City’s two first-half goals.

Argyle skipper Joe Edwards’ late first-half goal made it 2-1 before Ben Waine netted ahead of Morgan Whittaker’s superb 86th-minute leveller.

Dewsnip said: “I really enjoyed the experience, am really proud of the players, the supporters – they are really fantastic – and really proud to lead the team.

“We came back from two goals down and nearly sneak it at the end. We conceded three goals so we know we have got a bit of work to do.

“At the start of the game, the first period was difficult for the players, they have had some week because they have lost a manager they think highly of.

“We said to the players at half-time ‘we are still in the game and we will start again and go from there’.

“Joe (Edwards) was strong leader in the dressing room, we supported them to put out that performance.

“We nearly got the winner. What a moment that would have been.

“We are going to win one eventually away from home so why not at Cardiff (on Boxing Day).”

Former boss Steven Schumacher left Plymouth to take charge of Stoke earlier this week but Dewsnip admitted he was not to right man to fill the vacancy on a full-time basis.

He added: “It feels a bit strange; but I am not going to be the next manager, we are looking for a manager and have started that process and will hopefully get someone very soon.”

Rooney took the positives from earning a point, saying: “We looked really dangerous. We go 2-0 up and a mistake before half-time lets them back in it.

“Then the red card just after half-time – which I don’t think is a red card – was a big moment in the game which makes it more difficult for us.

“The lads put a real shift in and we went 3-1 up. Under pressure we failed to see the game out. We are all disappointed in the end not to win but a positive is that we got something.

“I thought with the personnel of the players we had on the pitch for us to stay in the game, at 2-1, I felt we could be a threat on the break and we get the third goal from that. We just didn’t hold on that 3-1 lead for long enough.

“Then the crowd got behind them and it was a good finish from Morgan to make it 3-3. We were getting blocks in and defending the box well and limited Plymouth to shots from the edge of the box which we were OK with.

“Morgan is Plymouth’s most dangerous player and he only needed that half-opportunity and he gets the equaliser.

“We know Plymouth are a good team, they move the ball well, but we felt we would get opportunities at goal if we had a good shape about us in our attacking half.

“We felt we could cause them problems, which we did. The positive is that we didn’t lose the game.”

Callum O’Hare netted a brace as Coventry beat Birmingham 2-0 at the CBS Arena.

The former Aston Villa midfielder had not scored for over 18 months after suffering a serious knee injury on Boxing Day last year and was starting just his second game since returning from injury.

The 25-year-old opened the scoring after he was played in by Milan van Ewijk before his superb solo goal made the three points safe in the second half.

O’Hare’s goals also meant Mark Robins’ men claimed their second consecutive home win, moving them above Blues and up to 14th in the table.

Blues’ woes under Wayne Rooney continued as Birmingham were handed their sixth loss in nine games since the former Manchester United striker replaced John Eustace and had John Ruddy to thank that the deficit was kept to one for the majority of the second half.

The visitors had started positively when Coventry failed to clear their lines and Krystian Bielik’s effort was saved by Brad Collins.

Collins had to be on hand again a minute later to keep Juninho Bacuna’s effort at bay.

Coventry started to get a foothold in the game midway through the first half and looked a threat down the right through Van Ewijk, whose cross found O’Hare but his effort was beaten away by Ruddy.

Robins’ side opened the scoring on the half-hour mark when Van Ewijk and O’Hare combined again before the 25-year-old held off the challenge of Lee Buchanan to stab his effort in at the near post in front of over 26,000 spectators in the CBS Arena.

The Sky Blues then had appeals for a penalty waved away when the ball struck Koji Miyoshi on the arm before half-time.

Coventry went in search of a second after the break as Haji Wright had a hat-trick of chances to extend the lead.

Firstly, the American met Van Ewijk’s pinpoint cross but his downward header was comfortable for Ruddy, who then bravely blocked Wright’s second effort with his face a minute later after the forward beat Bacuna down the left.

Ruddy was called into action again when he gathered Wright’s low effort after he cut inside from the left for a second time after O’Hare’s delightful outside-of-the-foot pass.

Van Ewijk was next to test Ruddy’s resolve when his powerful free-kick was clawed away by the former Norwich keeper before Tatsuhiro Sakamato’s effort was also kept out.

O’Hare completed his brace and gave Coventry breathing space on 77 minutes with a superb solo effort.

Dancing across the box, terrified Birmingham defenders watched on as O’Hare blasted in his second to complete a memorable night for the Sky Blues midfielder.

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