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Gary Rowett issues Derby County prediction as relegation talk directed at Millwall boss



Millwall manager Gary Rowett believes Championship rivals and this afternoon’s opponents Derby County have a ‘very good chance’ of survival if their punishment is only limited to the 12-point deduction they have already received, speaking to South London Press ahead of the game.

The Rams received this sanction after their entrance into administration in September, effectively cancelling out their promising start to the season, after winning 10 points from their opening eight league matches and sitting in 12th place before their deduction was applied.

Even with this huge psychological blow, Wayne Rooney’s men went unbeaten in five of their following six league games and with this, continued to pick up points as they fought their way back to a positive points tally and put themselves in reach of their nearest relegation rivals.

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Two recent defeats against Blackburn Rovers and fellow strugglers Barnsley has halted their progress since then, sitting seven points adrift of safety and looking doomed in the short term after losing their biggest asset recently: defensive solidity.

A successful appeal against their initial points deduction could completely change things for the East Midlands outfit after launching this action last month, although another nine-point punishment could be coming down the tracks for breaching financial rules.

Although their existing deduction has placed them in deep trouble already, Millwall boss Rowett believes the Rams will be able to climb out of the relegation zone as long as a further docking of points doesn’t occur this term.

Speaking on this subject and saving praise for Derby manager Rooney, the 47-year-old said: “There’s all sorts of rumours been floating around that they may get more points, but if that doesn’t happen then they’ve got a very good chance of getting out of it. They are a very good side.

“From afar, and what I hear within the club, I think Wayne (Rooney) has done a really, really good job of maintaining a focus and maintaining that positivity.

“I know he’s an experienced football man but for anyone’s first job, I can’t imagine having to deal with that when I first walked in at Burton.

“He’s been highly commendable, how he’s dealt with it.”

The Verdict:

Derby do have a great chance of getting themselves out of danger – but their attacking record will need to vastly improve if they want to remain afloat in the Championship – because this same problem going forward nearly relegated them last term.

Getting the right balance between defending well and attacking with a considerable threat seems to be an issue at Pride Park right now. They have shown they can score against the likes of Luton Town and Stoke City – and they have also been solid at the back up until the last two games.

If they can combine the two, they could easily get out of their current situation, even with the new manager bounces potentially expected to come at Barnsley and Cardiff City.

There’s always time for others to be dragged into the relegation mix – but they need to focus on themselves and claim at least a point in what looks to be a winnable game.

The Lions were extremely disappointing in the first half of their last match against Reading, so that may give the Rams great encouragement and a win this afternoon would keep them firmly in the race for survival after suffering recent setbacks.

A further punishment for their financial breaches looks likely though – and that would destroy any hopes of staying in the second tier.

A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Gary Rowett issues Derby County prediction as relegation talk directed at Millwall boss

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