After taking a dig at former Everton boss Sam Allardyce, who sidelined him at Goodison Park, Rooney said that while automatic promotion looks a long shot, a play-off spot should not be beyond the Rams.
The striker said: “I still felt I could do it at Everton – but other people made the decisions on that. But it's important to understand that football's not about running around, it's about using your brain. It's about using your head to play the game, and I feel I can still do that.
“They way you create time and space... knowing the game by putting yourself in the right positions.
“Look at the number of times we've seen young players with real speed, but they don't know how to use it properly.
“I feel those facts get lost with me – perhaps unfairly – because I don't score as many goals.
“It's a shame. With respect to my legs, I'm not the quickest player – but in my head I am.
“So, in answer to the question, given the right team around me, I probably could.
“Obviously, the two clubs I've played for in the Premier League have been Everton and Manchester United . I'm a Derby player now and hopefully I can get there with them and they can become the third club if I do."