Derby County lost 3-0 away at Preston North End last night – a defeat which leaves them in a perilous position going into the final three games of the season.

Derby County currently sit four points and a place above Rotherham United in 22nd. Defeat at Deepdale last night marked a fourth-straight for the Rams, and for Rooney, his credentials as a young, up and coming manager look to have completed faded.

He did at one point have his Derby side firing, keeping clean sheets and slowly climbing up the table. Now though, with just one win in his last 12 in charge, fans are starting to pile the pressure on the board to make a decision – potentially even before the end of the season.

It’ made difficult given Derby County’s takeover situation. They’re seemingly in the midst of a pass-over of power from Mel Morris to Erik Alonso, finding themselves in the kind of limbo state that they’ve played under this whole season.

There’s cries for Rooney, Liam Rosenior and Shay Given to all be handed their P45’s before their next outing v Birmingham City this weekend, with many backing Steve McClaren to come in for the final three games.

But many agree that a complete, top-to-bottom rebuild is needed and once the higher hierarchy are firmly in place (if ever) there needs to be a respected, proven and passionate manager in place.

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Rooney in his post-match interviews of late, and especially last night’s, comes across as a manager who’s accepted defeat, who’s surrender himself to whatever results might come his way in the final games of the campaign and that demeanour has spilled out onto the pitch – which is the most depressing thing for Derby County fans.

Plenty of names are being banded around as who could come in to replace Rooney, but ex-Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder stands out above all other candidates.

The 53-year-old guided the Blades from League One to the Premier League in little under five years at the club. He garnered a surprising reputation as a manager who plays attractive and unique football, but at the same time disciplines his teams like a truly old school coach.

Whether the Rams be in League One or the Championship next season, Wilder could the perfect man and the perfect manager to come into Pride Park and instil some fight and passion into the players, and eventually get them back challenging at the top end of the second-tier.

Fans have different ideas of what Rooney is currently earning at Pride Park, though reports have claimed that he earns as much as £90k-a-week. How much of that is on sponsorship remains to be seen but given that, wages shouldn’t be an issue in tempting Wilder.

The club’s ownership first of all needs to be sorted, then the league in which Derby County will be playing in next time round, and then the manager. The order of that can be adjusted as and when, but Wilder at Derby County seems like a match made in heaven.