Derby County manager Wayne Rooney speaks out about Jordon Ibe’s battle with depression

Messages of support for Derby County winger Jordan Ibe have flooded in including high praise from his manager Wayne Rooney after he revealed he is battling depression.

Ibe, who joined Derby from Bournemouth in September, had begun rehabilitation to improve his mental health last year after crashing his car into a coffee shop and being banned from driving for 16 months.

Posting on social media platform Instagram, the 25-year-old former Liverpool player announced that he was in a “dark place” due to his ill mental health and that he “finds things hard” but Rooney has been quick to back Ibe saying: “I spoke to Jordon 2 days ago now and in my opinion the best thing he could have done was come out publicly about his issues.”

The Derby manager believes: “it allows people to help him even more so than that what they were doing.” “The club are doing what they can to put things in place for him and keep offering him the help he needs to get better.”

For Jordon and the club, it was a big thing “apologising to his fans all around the world.” There also has been a strong emphasis that: “he has support from his club, family and friends.” This was reiterated in Thursday’s press conference with Wayne exclaiming: “I think the big thing for him was coming out publicly and sharing his issues which will be a big help for him in the future”.

Ibe has played just once this season – in December – and he faced an internal disciplinary investigation by the club in the same month but “this is a situation he is 100 percent committed to. Not just for his family, close friends or his beauteous daughter but for himself” with his The Rams manager believing that: “sports psychiatrists are very important in this day and age and will be a vital part of Jordon’s recovery going forward.”

Jordon is not alone in his battle against mental health and depression both in and out the world of football with Rooney quick to point out: “there’s so many players over the years I’ve seen that have had issues to deal with which obviously never come out in public. You see it behind closed doors, and I think what we need to remember is that we are only human beings, and we have feelings and sometimes you don’t always see it when a player is playing on the pitch.”

Football is a “very high-pressured job” and with it comes the limelight of social media. “If they look at it too much and 90 percent of the time it tends to be negative things from people sat behind a computer, sat behind a phone rather than the actual people who see the game and mean things so it’s a big challenge for players now with everything in place which could go against them.”

He is thankful for all the support he has received saying: “I appreciate all the messages from everyone. Times are hard in general due to this pandemic…I have the full support from my family and Derby County Football Club.” Ibe then went onto write “much love to every single person.”

We wish Jordon all the best and hope to see him back of the pitch wearing The Rams shirt sooner rather than later.