Derby County news: Wayne Rooney makes bullish Rams claim ahead of crunch weekend clash

Wayne Rooney makes frank Derby County claim ahead of Sheffield Wednesday showdown

Derby County's dismal run of form continued last weekend as they suffered a sixth consecutive defeat in the Championship at the hands of Swansea City.

As a result of their poor performances in recent weeks, the Rams now face the prospect of being relegated to League One on the final day of the season.

Whilst a defeat to Sheffield Wednesday would seal their fate, Derby may even go down if the beat Darren Moore's side depending on the outcome of Rotherham United's final two fixtures.

As well as being poor in a defensive sense as illustrated by the fact that they have failed to keep a clean-sheet in any of their last six games, the Rams' progress under Rooney has also been hampered by a lack of creativity.

No team has scored fewer goals in the Championship than Derby during the current campaign as they have only managed to find the back of the net on 33 occasions.

A failure to address this issue on Saturday could result in the Rams having to rebuild in the third-tier next season.

Making reference to his side's current situation, Rooney has suggested that whilst he will do everything he can to prepare Derby for their showdown with the Owls, it will ultimately be down to his players to deliver the goods at Pride Park.

Speaking to the Derby Telegraph ahead of the Rams' upcoming clash, the 35-year-old said: "We have to turn all of our focus onto Sheffield Wednesday.

"We know what we have to do, we have to win the game and we are relying again on Rotherham."

Rooney later added: "We have to have the character, we have to win the game.

"Our preparations will be good.

"We will have the team ready and it is on the players to go out and perform."

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Whilst Rooney can only do so much from the sidelines, he certainly shouldn't be exempt from criticism as Derby have been extremely poor under his guidance in recent months.

Although injuries to the likes of Lee Gregory and Teden Mengi haven't helped the Rams, they are clearly lacking confidence and Rooney's inexperience at managerial level has led to a number of erratic displays in the Championship.

However, considering that Derby still have an opportunity to retain their second-tier status, they may take solace in the fact that Wednesday have only won four away league games this season.

By staying calm on Saturday, the Rams may secure a vital three points which could allow them to finish above their rivals in the Championship standings.

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