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Mark Warburton issues praise for Derby County man following QPR clash

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Queens Park Rangers boss Mark Warburton has praised Wayne Rooney for managing to keep his Derby County side together despite facing considerable off-field turmoil this season, speaking to the Brent & Kilburn Times.

Rooney was faced with problems from last summer when a strict transfer embargo prevented the Rams from replacing some of those who had departed during the same window, not being able to recruit the players needed to compensate for previous losses.

They started the season in a promising fashion despite this though, although there was worse to come when the East Midlands outfit were placed into administration by Mel Morris in September, something that not only caused disruption off the pitch but also on it as they were deducted 12 points.

Quiz: What club do these 25 players from the Derby County 2016/17 squad play for now?

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Craig Forsyth?

That tally went from 12 to 21 after they were handed a fresh nine-point sanction in November for breaching the EFL’s profitability and sustainability rules – and things didn’t get much better after that despite brave on-field performances as they saw the likes of Phil Jagielka and Graeme Shinnie leave during the winter window earlier this calendar year.

This may have played a part in their poor recent form over the past couple of months, failing to do enough to force their way out of the relegation mix and after yesterday’s late loss against the R’s, they can no longer make up the deficit to survive.

However, Derby boss Rooney’s opposite number Warburton had nothing but nice things to say about the 36-year-old after the match.

He said to the Brent & Kilburn Times: “He’s probably experienced more as a manager in these nine to 12 months than most experience in nine or 12 years.

“All credit to Wayne and his staff for keeping a squad together, keeping the belief and producing the level of performances they have home and away.

“They deserve so much credit for that. There’s so much going on that has been out of their control, but they’ve maintained their standards throughout.”

The Verdict:

Rooney’s men have been true to their principles and kept playing an attractive style of football, so for that, they have to be commended and the players and staff’s conduct off the field has been nothing short of superb either.

The 36-year-old could have easily walked away from the job – but stayed loyal to the cause and played a huge part in taking them so close before their recent drop-off.

The fact they were favourites to get themselves to safety earlier this year before this poor form says a lot about Rooney and how he’s managed to get the very best out of his side, though the players have also played their part.

Whilst some of the youngsters have stepped up well, some of those who are still young but became some of the more experienced heads in the group have taken on leadership roles. And one man who deserves a lot of credit is Tom Lawrence, who has led his side well barring his red cards.

They may face an uncertain summer now – but they have certainly created some good memories this season and this will only help to provide them with momentum and motivation going into the 2022/23 campaign.


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: Mark Warburton issues praise for Derby County man following QPR clash

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