Derby County

Derby County


Rooney hopes for relegation miracle as Derby deliver major Bournemouth upset

Wayne Rooney

Derby boss Wayne Rooney believes his side can still survive following their 3-2 victory over promotion-pushing Bournemouth.

A Tom Lawrence brace after Jason Knight’s opener was enough for all three points as Derby handed Bournemouth just their second loss this season. The result takes the Rams back out of negative points after they were handed a further nine-point deduction.

Now Rooney has insisted his side can still survive this Championship campaign.

Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “We know it’s a very difficult situation. But if there’s a small chance we can create a miracle, we will try.

“We will keep trying, keep pushing, see where we are towards the end of the season. But we’ve got a chance.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the players will do everything they can.”

Derby now sit 15 points adrift of escaping the relegation zone after just 18 games of the season.

However, had Rooney’s side not been deducted any points they would sit comfortably in 16th place.

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And with victories against top teams like Bournemouth, it would be no surprise to see them achieve the so-called ‘great escape’.

But the three points did not come easily, as Derby went into the break at a 2-1 disadvantage.

However, Rooney revealed exactly what he told to his players during the interval: “I said to the players we can win this game.

“The chances were there, but we had to be brave. Be brave on the ball, play good football. And we did just that.

“It’s a great three points because Bournemouth are a good team.”

Boss praises star performer on debut

Rooney was full of praise for youngster Liam Thompson as he played a full 90 in his first senior debut.

Thompson, 19, is a product of Derby’s academy and was handed a professional contract in the summer of 2020.

And the gaffer was impressed with how the rising star handled himself on the big stage.

Rooney said: “I thought he was excellent. Brave to take the ball, put a performance in under pressure. I want to focus on players like that.”

READ MORE: Derby on red alert after Man Utd provide transfer update on star