Wayne Rooney insists Derby can still avoid relegation from the Championship despite their 12-point deduction.
The Rams, who currently remain in administration, picked up three points on Wednesday night with a 1-0 home win over Reading. Craig Forsyth’s first-half header proved the difference as the Rams held firm to bag the points.
Derby still sit rock-bottom of the Championship table with three wins from 10 games. That’s after they were deducted 12 points earlier this month for entering administration.
Despite the huge points deduction, Rooney believes his side have got what it takes to beat the drop.
“I believe we will stay up if the points deduction stays as it is,” said a proud Rooney after their win over Reading.
“The players trust and believe in me, which is being shown out on the pitch with their fantastic attitude. They are a really good group of players who are fighting for this club.
“We’re in a very difficult situation. But the players are giving absolutely everything and we’ve got to keep working to try and pick up points.
“We’re back on positive points and it’s never nice to be on minus points. So the players deserve a lot of praise for turning that around so quickly and, if we stick together, we will get through this.
Rooney pleased with Derby display
“I was pleased with the performance in the first half. I thought we played some really good stuff and created some good chances to deserve our 1-0 lead at half-time.
“We also started the second half well and looked dangerous on the break. We dropped back deeper, but defended the box really well and I’m delighted with the three points.”
Rooney was appointed Derby manager back in January after the club’s poor start to the 2020-21 season, which saw Phillip Cocu sacked.
The England and Manchester United legend, 35, signed a two-and-a-half-year deal with the Rams which will run until the summer of 2023.
Meanwhile, Derby have been fined £5,000 for failing to control their players in last week’s 1-0 defeat to Sheffield United. Rams goalkeeper Kelle Roose was red carded for bringing down Billy Sharp on the hour.