Derby boss Wayne Rooney issues stark warning ahead of Saturday clash

Derby County manager Wayne Rooney on the touchline during the Sky Bet Championship match at Pride Park

Derby manager Wayne Rooney has stated he expects a quick response to the crushing 2-1 defeat against Barnsley as his side travel to Millwall on Saturday.

The Rams are now six games without a win, seven points adrift at the bottom of the Championship. Despite taking the lead at Oakwell, two Barnsley goals in 11 minutes condemned them to a fourth away league defeat of the season. In a game that was most definitely a must-not-lose for Rooney’s men, the Englishman hopes it’s a wake-up call for his side.

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He quickly indicated that he hopes his players realise they’re stuck in the middle of a relegation battle.

Speaking to Derbyshire Live, he said: “I expect more from the players as individuals and as a group.

“We played with a lack of intensity, a lack of energy, a lack of aggression, and we need more. We are in a relegation battle, we need more.

“Over the last three games as an individual and as a collective we can do better, we know that. It hurts, I am hurt by this performance. I don’t expect my team to play that way, so I am expecting a reaction Saturday.”

Declaring his team “didn’t deserve anything out of the game” against their fellow relegation candidates, they now face a tough test in South East London.

The Lions have only lost just one of their last seven league matches at home. However, Derby have triumphed in their last two visits to The Den.

“In possession, I want us to play, I want us to take the ball, to move the ball quick, to play between the lines, to take chances,” added Rooney. 

“But out of possession you have to work, you have to put the energy in, you have to give everything for your teammates, for the fans, for the club.

“You have to do it. If you don’t, you won’t play, and the players have given me decisions to make on Saturday.

“So hopefully it is early enough to be a wake-up call for the players.”

Curtis Davies sends message to fans

Derby defender has issued a plea to fans to keep behind them in an Instagram post.

The Rams are languishing at the foot of the table as defeat against Barnsley saw them lose back-to-back league games.

Davies, who’s been at Pride Park since 2017, wrote a lengthy post signalling his anguish at the result.

“You all deserve better than what we’re giving you at the moment,” he said.

“To go 1-0 up in any game and lose is hard to take but conceding the way we did, and it being against another team fighting for (their) life makes it a lot worse.

“A lot of questions will start to be asked about us now, and we will be asking questions of one another so we can work our way out of this sticky period we find ourselves in.

“Stick with us!!”

With Derby playing against former boss Gary Rowatt, they’ll be looking to secure a much-needed away victory before the international break.

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