It’s safe to say that it’s been a concerning few months for Wayne Rooney at Derby County, with the Rams struggling for a positive run of results in the Championship.
They were narrowly beaten 1-0 by Stoke City at the weekend, which means they’re now sat 19th in the second-tier standings, heading into their final eight matches of this year’s campaign.
But more alarmingly, Derby are now just five points clear of the relegation zone, and an almost unthinkable relegation into the third-tier of English football could soon be on the cards if their poor run of results is to continue.
Derby have a much-needed break from action now though, with the international break now upon us, which will give Rooney some welcome thinking time as he looks to find a solution to their dismal run of form.
We take a look at TWO concerns that Rooney will have at Derby County as we head into the international break.
Confidence within the squad
Derby have a relatively young squad, and it’s important that Rooney doesn’t allow his squads heads to drop anytime soon, as they head into a crucial period of the season.
If they let recent results impact their future performances after the international break, then the Rams could well find themselves dropping into the relegation zone relatively quickly.
For any team that is battling to survive in the Championship, you need fight amongst the squad to find positive results, and it’s vital that Rooney gets that confidence into his players at the earliest of opportunities, starting against Luton Town when they return to action after the break from club matches.
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The Martyn Waghorn dilemma
Waghorn was left out of the matchday squad for Derby’s recent defeat to Stoke City, and that would have had many questioning why he was out of the team.
Waghorn has made 27 appearances in all competitions, and has chipped in with three goals this term.
Rooney’s decision to reveal publicly as to why he was absent from the squad is a bold call, and the Derby County boss will have to make sure that this decision doesn’t have a negative impact on any of his squad moving forward.
It’s a far from ideal scenario to be in heading into such an important run of fixtures this season for the Rams.