Wayne Rooney challenges Derby’s attacking players to show more desire



Posted Sunday, March 14, 2021 by PA

Wayne Rooney challenges Derby’s attacking players to show more desire

Wayne Rooney has challenged his forwards to show more desire after Derby drew another blank in the 1-0 home defeat to Millwall.

Derby had 70 per cent possession but created few chances and failed to score for the fourth game in a row.

Millwall had won 1-0 on their previous two visits to Pride Park and another victory was sealed when poor marking from a corner allowed Shaun Hutchinson to head the game’s only goal in the 45th minute.

Chances for both sides were few and far between although Craig Forsyth should have done better when he headed wide at the back post in the 15th minute.

Millwall were disciplined throughout with former Derby man Alex Pearce outstanding at the heart of the defence and their only moment of concern came in the closing stages.

A corner fell to substitute Louie Sibley on the edge of the six-yard box in the 78th minute but his effort came back off the bar and that was as close as Derby came.

They remain seven points above the relegation zone but Rooney wants to see his attackers do more to score goals.

He said: “We were in control of the game, I thought we put some excellent balls in the box and from the goalkeeper up to the edge of their box we were good.

“In the penalty area, both for their goal and for us trying to score, we were poor. I think for the attacking players, they have to want to score.

“They have to be prepared to put their body on the line to get across defenders, to have better movement in the box and better anticipation. If we don’t do that, the hard work we do on the rest of the pitch means nothing.

“Sometimes you have to take risks to get across players and we didn’t do that well enough today and it’s cost us the points.

“We have to want it more, we have to anticipate balls coming into the box but I just felt the movement was non-existent in their box.”

For Millwall manager Gary Rowett, it was another winning return to the club he took to the play-offs.

“It’s difficult when you come here and you’ve got a player like Murray Wallace who we had to chuck in today. He’s trained only once in nine weeks and we’ve got a lengthy injury list of nine or 10 players.

“I felt we had to do what we had to do which was make it difficult. We’ve watched a lot of Derby and they’ve scored a lot of set-piece goals but not that many from open play.

“We felt if we let them play in front of us, they’d struggle to break us down. First half we were a little bit too passive and didn’t use the ball well at all. Second half we stepped up the pitch 10 or 15 yards, put a little bit more pressure on Derby and made it a little bit more difficult to get in our half.

“The goal just before half-time gave us something to protect and apart from a shot that hit the bar I didn’t think Derby really created too many chances. I thought we were pretty comfortable second half.”

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