Derby County head coach Gary Rowett has told the Derbyshire Times that he believes his appointment as their new manager was meant to be.

The Rams were forced to look for their third manager of the season when they decided to sack Steve McClaren for the second time earlier this week and quickly found their new man. Rowett was sacked as Birmingham City’s head coach earlier in the season to the shock of many, and he jumped at the chance to return to management at Derby.

For Rowett this move to become Derby’s new manager is extra special as he was once a player at the club. Between 1995 and 1998, he made over 100 appearances for the East Midlands side and helped the team reach the play-offs on once occasion. But now that he is back with the club and his first game is set to be against their fierce rivals Nottingham Forest, a team who contacted him about their own vacancy earlier in the season, he believes it was simply meant to be.

He said: “It feels like it was meant to be. I’ve been here as a player and lived in the area for about 23 years now and can remember well the time I spent here before.”

“We had a year where we got promoted into the Premier League and then a season where we consolidated our place there and following that the move to Pride Park, which was monumental at the time.”

“I did some youth coaching here too once I’d finished playing but when I left I felt deep down that one day the opportunity might come where I’d be able to return here in some capacity, and here I am.”


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