Wayne Rooney vows Derby will ‘keep fighting’ as relegation fears deepen



Posted Thursday, February 24, 2022 by PA

Wayne Rooney vows Derby will ‘keep fighting’ as relegation fears deepen

Derby manager Wayne Rooney delivered a defiant response to a 2-1 home defeat to Millwall that leaves his team deep in relegation trouble.

Rooney vowed to fight to the end after Derby lost at home for the first time in 2022, as goals from Jed Wallace and Tyler Burey gave Millwall victory.

He said: “We conceded two sloppy goals and then give Millwall credit they defended the box very well.

“But we kept pushing and I can’t knock the players, they kept going to the end and kept fighting.

“We will keep going and keep fighting. It’s a setback and a bad result but we’ll lose more games from now to the end of the season and it’s about the games we win.

“We need to turn some of the draws, especially away from home into wins, and we will keep fighting.

“As I keep saying, this league can throw up anything so we will keep going and believing.”

Millwall got off to a great start when Wallace’s whipped free kick in the second minute beat everyone and sailed inside the far post.

Tyler Burey should have added a second in the 24th minute but fired over after Wallace set him up but he made no mistake six minutes later.

Former Derby midfielder Mason Bennett powered through on the left and after Wallace’s shot was blocked, Burey smashed in the rebound.

Jason Knight fired wide before half-time and, although Derby had most of the second half, Millwall denied them any clear openings until Jake Cooper sliced an attempted clearance into his own net in the 89th minute.

The home fans sensed a comeback was on but Millwall defended strongly to claim a fifth victory in seven visits to Pride Park.

Millwall boss Gary Rowett was full of praise for the way his former club have responded to going into administration.

“We’ve had some good results here but it’s a tough place to come and what I would say is Derby have done incredibly well this season,” Rowett said.

“I think football sometimes transcends rivalry and you have to just say they’ve done an incredible job. It would have been very easy to be demotivated but a young team and Wayne, a young manager, have been brilliant.

“I thought we were fairly comfortable first half and we had a period in the second where we looked really, really comfortable and it was probably the most innocuous ball into the box all game that ends up causing us a problem.

“It made for a really nervy last five or six minutes and I felt like a last minute goal was coming but in fairness to the players we dug in and got what I thought was a deserved result.”

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