17th January, 2021
Wayne Rooney suffered defeat in his first match in permanent charge of Derby as relegation rivals Rotherham won 1-0 at Pride Park and Norwich opened up a seven-point lead at the top of the Championship table.
The former Manchester United and England captain was officially confirmed as the Rams’ manager on Friday, having held the post on an interim basis since the departure of Phillip Cocu in November.
But his reign started inauspiciously as Jamie Lindsay’s late strike sent County second bottom of the table.
“I think we got what we deserved out of the game, if I am being honest,” Rooney told RamsTV.
“The performance, especially the first-half, wasn’t good enough. I think we were sloppy, passing balls out of play, didn’t have a good enough tempo on the ball and we gave them encouragement.
“The lads had a job to do today on the pitch and I am not standing here questioning them through a lack of trying. What I am saying is that quality-wise and concentration-wise today wasn’t good enough. I am not going to stand here and make any excuses.
“We didn’t deserve anything out of the game and we have to improve. We know that and we have a game coming up on Tuesday at home to Bournemouth and we have to be a lot better than we were today.”
He added: “We knew what Rotherham would bring; we knew their players have high-energy and we were expecting that, but we panicked on the ball.
“We weren’t comfortable taking the ball and there were too many times that simple passes going astray and the lads were letting the ball roll under their foot. That is a lack of concentration.”
Goalkeeper David Marshall missed the game due to illness and was replaced by Kelle Roos in goal.
Rooney is hopeful that Marshall, Scotland’s first-choice international shot-stopper, could return for Tuesday’s home fixture against AFC Bournemouth.
“He’s not well,” Rooney said. “David has tested negative of COVID-19, so it’s not that.
“He just hasn’t felt well in the last couple of days and hopefully he will be ready for Tuesday.”