Wayne Rooney laments Derby’s first-half display against Blackburn

Posted Sunday, October 31, 2021 by PA

Wayne Rooney laments Derby’s first-half display against Blackburn

Derby manager Wayne Rooney admitted his team had been taught a harsh lesson after they were beaten 2-1 at home by Blackburn.

Rooney described the first-half performance as unacceptable as Rovers scored twice to move up to seventh place in the Championship.

Blackburn dominated the first half and should have been out of sight by the interval.

Ben Brereton Diaz scored at the second attempt in the eighth minute following John Buckley’s ball in from the right and he struck again in the 20th minute.

Derby were opened up by the movement of Sam Gallagher and Tyrhys Dolan who played in Brereton Diaz to coolly slip the ball under Kelle Roos.

Blackburn had further chances with Gallagher firing over and Roos saving from Brereton Diaz before the visitors wasted a great opening in first-half stoppage time.

Former Derby midfielder Bradley Johnson was denied by Roos before Dolan failed to find the unguarded net.

The introduction of Colin Kazim-Richards got Derby back in the game but Blackburn looked to be heading for a comfortable win until Curtis Davies volleyed in when a free-kick was only half-cleared.

Derby poured forward in stoppage time and after Kazim-Richards hit a post, the striker fired over in a frantic finale.

But Rooney knew the damage had already been done and said: “First half we were not good enough.

“We were not aggressive, didn’t play with energy, no composure on the ball, the back four was too deep and we made it quite comfortable for Blackburn.

“We conceded two sloppy goals and that’s not good enough, I can’t accept that performance first half.

“I asked for a reaction at half-time and I felt I got a positive reaction. Everything I have just spoken about was better in the second half, we played with more energy, we were more aggressive.

“I was pleased with the reaction second half but we cannot afford to go missing for 45 minutes in games or we will get punished. It’s a good lesson for us.”

Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray also felt his team could take lessons from the match.

He said: “We should have scored two or three more goals but we didn’t and ended up hanging on at the death.

“We’ve dropped two two-goal leads so far this season, Luton and Coventry where we’ve been 2-0 up and only taken a point and it could have happened today.

“We were a bit frustrated in the dressing room at the end, it wasn’t a big celebration really, it was more of a ‘come on, we have to get better, we have to pick a pass when teams are gambling and throwing bodies forward and run away and score again to finish the game.’

“So we’ll keep working on that but I think we deserved the points on the balance of 90 minutes.

“I think the front three deserve huge credit today, their work ethic and desire to help the team get the ball back and put them under pressure was immense. It was our best out of possession game which translated into probably our best 45 minutes of in possession game.”


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