Derby County midfielder Graeme Shinnie has insisted that the commitment of Wayne Rooney and the rest of the coaching staff to the Rams is helping to instill the fighting spirit in the squad.
It has been a very difficult week for all concerned with Derby with the club having been placed into administration. That has resulted in the Rams losing 12 points and dropping down to the foot of the Championship table.
There is also the prospect that the Rams will be deducted more points by the EFL and that would make it even more difficult for them to have chance of staying in the Championship.
Rooney though has insisted to the media that he is not going to walk away from Derby despite their current predicament off the field.
That has brought some unity to the club and the Rams travelled to Sheffield United on Saturday backed by a full section of away supporters.
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They were able to deliver a battling performance and nearly came away from the game with a point but Tom Lawrence saw his late effort strike the woodwork.
Quiz: Have Derby County ever been involved in these 18 scenarios?
Speaking to Derby’s official club website, Shinnie suggested that having Rooney and the rest of the coaching staff all committed to the fight with the playing squad is instilling the togetherness and fighting spirit they need to take onto the field.
He said: “We will keep fighting for everything that we’ve got. The club is in the position that it’s in but we can’t do anything about it.
“The whole club and city is coming together and the bad situation has brought everyone together. The fans are right behind us, the fans are fighting with us, the staff are with us all the way and the manager has said that.
“He has said he’s here to fight with us and he won’t leave us on our own. The team on the pitch are fighting for the fans and for the club. We are all fighting for each other, for the people at the stadium and at the training ground, and all the Academy staff at the club. As players, all we can do is keep our focus, giving our all and fighting, and that’s what we’ll do.”
Shinnie is right to suggest that Rooney’s influence on the dressing room at the moment is vital for the Rams.
Many managers and coaching staff would have considered their futures by now and possibly would have even walked away given the situation that Derby find themselves in.
Instead, Rooney has shown real leadership with his players and the rest of the staff around the club.
Doing that has helped to keep the squad together and you can see within the Rams’ performances that the players are not giving up and are going to fight to earn results.
Another points deduction would mean that Derby face a very daunting task to try and survive the drop in the Championship this season.
However, against Sheffield United, they showed that they will dig in and make things difficult for their opponents and there is every chance they can pick up important results.
Rooney deserves a lot of credit that has come his way for his willingness to fight for the club through this period and that is clearly also proving to be inspiration for his squad as well.