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Wayne Rooney fires warning to Derby County players after Fulham draw



Derby County boss Wayne Rooney has warned his players their recent results against top-two duo AFC Bournemouth and Fulham won’t count unless they follow it up with a win against Queens Park Rangers on Monday night, speaking to his side’s media team.

After winning 3-2 against the Cherries at the weekend, terrorising a side that had only conceded one league goal away from home before Sunday’s clash at Pride Park, they followed this up with a gritty 0-0 draw at Craven Cottage against league leaders Fulham.

Although last night’s hosts had Aleksandar Mitrovic missing through illness, the assignment for the Rams was no less daunting with the likes of Harry Wilson, Fabio Carvalho and Neeskens Kebano all top-quality assets to have in the second tier with the lively Rodrigo Muniz starting in the Serbian international’s place.

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Although a victory was the ideal target for Rooney’s men who currently sit on just one point after facing two separate deductions from the EFL, the likes of Curtis Davies and Phil Jagielka were crucial in defence as they dug in to secure an impressive draw against all odds.

For a team that weren’t perhaps expected to get back to a positive points tally against the top two, winning four from a possible six is no mean feat and the East Midlands side’s fans will be hoping their team can utilise their confidence to record more positive results.

Going winless in their previous seven before last weekend, their remarkable turnaround must be commended but manager Rooney has his sights set on Monday clash with Mark Warburton’s QPR, providing a timely warning to his side who will be buzzing after recent results.

He said: “We’ve got four points in the last few days from two very good teams and some very good players with good squads.

“I think for our group of players, they work extremely hard and I could praise every single player tonight.

“Four points in the last two games is a good return, I feel, but it means nothing if we don’t go back to Pride Park next Monday and get three points.”

The Verdict:

Rooney strikes the right tone here. The player should be given credit for performing well at the Cottage last night, because that isn’t an easy place to go as Barnsley found out last weekend.

Considering Fulham are the best attacking team in the league – and by some distance – the Rams’ clean sheet was remarkable and the absence of Mitrovic shouldn’t take away from their performance at the back because they were superb.

At the same time though, they must also look forward and prepare themselves for Monday night’s encounter with the R’s, because Warburton’s side have gone unbeaten in their last five league games and have conceded just twice during this run.

For Derby, it will be about striking the right balance between trying to stay solid at the back against the likes of Ilias Chair and Charlie Austin and ensuring they have enough going forward to unlock their watertight defence.

Keeping this momentum will be key, because consistency will be the only thing that can save them from the drop this season considering the current situation they are in.

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: Wayne Rooney fires warning to Derby County players after Fulham draw

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