Derby County

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‘That cost us’ – Rooney frustrated by first-half Derby showing in Blackburn loss

Derby County manager Wayne Rooney 2021

Derby County manager Wayne Rooney blamed his team’s first half performance for their 2-1 loss against Blackburn Rovers.

The Rams were two goals down after just 20 minutes due to a brace from Ben Brereton Diaz. Curtis Davies pulled one back, but it wasn’t enough as Derby suffered their fourth loss of the season. Rooney said after the game that his side were poor in the first 45 minutes.

“The first half was just not good enough,” he told RamsTV. “I think we were too deep, there were too many gaps in between the lines to pick balls up with nobody near them.

“We were losing first balls, losing second balls and were way too deep as a back four and we were punished with two sloppy goals to concede.

“It made it difficult for us to get something today. We can’t afford not to turn up for 45 minutes and I said to the players beforehand that there are moments in games whether that’s five or ten minutes that you have to dig in; but we threw 45 minutes away and that cost us.”

Derby currently sit bottom of the league and are now seven points away from escaping the relegation zone.

But Rooney was still pleased with his side’s second-half response, and claimed on another day they could’ve got something from the game.

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“It was a good reaction from half time, at 2-0 down last season we wouldn’t have been able to come back, and on another day we maybe could have taken a point but we left ourselves with too much to do.

“We were trying to get messages on to get higher up the pitch and play with energy, to be aggressive and to be fair to the front guys, they were trying it but the back line was too deep and that was the problem.”


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Davies, who scored in the 89th minute, believes Derby got what they deserved in their defeat to Rovers.

The defender got his second goal of the season, before Colin Kazim-Richards struck the post in injury time. But Davies still feels that his side didn’t do enough to earn a point at Pride Park.

“We got what we deserved,” he said. “When you rally in the second half and give it everything and get clapped off because of your efforts. But if they don’t start from minute zero then we don’t deserve anything.

“We could have been four down at half time. First half was a disgrace by our standards, the way we have played with and without the ball defensively, as a back line, as a collective and individually, we were nowhere near it.”

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