Lions boss Gary Rowett has praise for Wayne Rooney as he gives his verdict on Derby’s Championship survival chances

Gary Rowett reckons Derby County have the quality in their ranks to get out of the Championship dropzone – and has praised Wayne Rooney for the way he has dealt with the club’s administration.

The Rams are bottom of the table and seven points adrift of safety as they head to Millwall tomorrow.

But part of their stuggles is down to a 12-point deduction after they were into administration.

There have been reports that Derby are liable to receive a futher nine-point penalty, potentially before the end of this month.

Lions manager Rowett, who took the Rams to the Championship play-offs, said: “There’s all sorts of rumours been floating around that they may get more points, but if that doesn’t happen then they’ve got a very good chance of getting out of it. They are a very good side.

“From afar, and what I hear within the club, I think Wayne has done a really, really good job of maintaining a focus and maintaining that positivity. I know he’s an experienced football man but for anyone’s first job, I can’t imagine having to deal with that when I first walked in at Burton. He’s been highly commendable, how he’s dealt with it.

“But they’ve got good players. You saw their team the other night – they’ve got good players and they can mix the game up from a technical and physical aspect with the likes of Curtis Davies, Jagielka and Kazim-Richards.

“I would expect them to have a real chance of pulling out of those bottom positions. We’ve got to be completely focused and do what we do well. If we do that to the best of our ability we give ourselves a chance, if not then we’ll give Derby a chance of winning the game. It is as simple and clear as that.”

George Evans (calf) expected to be absent for another week. The former Rams midfielder also broke his hand.

“That is healing quite nicely,” said Rowett. “That’s quite important, that he’s had an opportunity to give that a little rest and ensure the hand knits together properly.

“If you go and play on it straight away and fall on your hand then there is a chance of that bone being displaced and being a problem for you down the line is heightened.”



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