Derby County manager Wayne Rooney has suggested that Louie Sibley has to start offering more for quality when he gets into promising positions following the Rams’ frustrating 1-0 defeat at home to Millwall on Saturday.
The Rams were aiming to get back to winning ways after failing to win any of their previous four Championship matches. However, Rooney’s side were unable to break down a stubborn and well-organised Millwall defence and when they did they failed to make the most of the chances that they created. That meant that it was a fourth league game in a row without scoring for them.
One player that Rooney turned to off the bench in the second half to try and rescue at least a point from the game was Sibley, with the 19-year-old coming on with 16 minutes left to play. However, he was unable to get the Rams back into the game as he frustratingly hit the woodwork with the one major chance that fell his way in the closing minutes.
Following the game Rooney when speaking to the media delivered a critical assessment of Sibley, suggesting that the attacker has to do better in those types of moments where he could only hit the woodwork. He also hinted that he will not be able to start matches until he starts to take advantage of some of those promising moments in games.
He said: “Was it who hit the bar? Yeah so he hit the bar but he needs to do more. He has to do more when he comes on. He’s come on in a few games and he needs to show me that he deserves to play. I know he’s an exciting player who can score goals and create goals. When he gets these moments – I know it wasn’t long – he has to produce moments that can make me start him in games.”
These are interesting comments from Rooney on Sibley and it might well be that the Derby boss is trying to get him going to get more out of him when he gets onto the field in these moments. However, the 19-year-old you feel was not the player to blame for the fact the Rams could not beat down Millwall throughout the game.
There were other players who could and should have done more during the game who are much more senior and should be relied upon to do more than a 19-year-old. However, you can to some extent understand that Rooney is frustrated with Sibley because he has struggled to really kick on this term after bursting on to the scene with five goals in 11 games last term (Sofascore).
By contrast, he has not managed to score or a single goal or produce a single assist in his 22 appearances so far this campaign (Sofascore). He has also missed four big chances for Rooney’s side. He does need to do a little more, so it will be interesting to see how he can react to these latest comments from his manager.