Wayne Rooney gives his verdict on red card, penalty and Sheffield United after Derby County's 1-0 defeat at Bramall Lane

Wayne Rooney admits he had no issues with the red card or penalty his Derby County side conceded this afternoon as they lost 1-0 at Sheffield United, who the former England international described as “a very good team”.

Saturday, 25th September 2021, 5:42 pm
Updated Saturday, 25th September 2021, 5:54 pm
Wayne Rooney, manager of Derby County at Bramall Lane: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

United struggled to break down Rooney’s Rams, who were reduced to 10 men with over half an hour to go when goalkeeper Kelle Roos was sent off for fouling Billy Sharp outside the area.

Derby looked set to end a difficult week with a morale-boosting point, before defender Curtis Davies inexplicably handled a cross from Blades substitute Conor Hourihane and Sharp stepped up to smash home the 89th-minute winner from the spot.

Asked for his view on the two decisions, Rooney admitted: “It was a penalty. I think the red card is a red card too, so no complaints with those two decisions.

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“Sheffield United are a very good team, the plan was to try and frustrate them and then try and nick a 1-0 win and I thought we were on course to do that.

“We had the best chances and the red card changes things. The lads gave everything and I can’t fault them. It’s disappointing to lose but the lads showed a great desire to play for the club today.”

Derby, who were sent to the bottom of the Championship table in the week when they were hit with a 12-point penalty for entering administration, could have gone ahead themselves early on, when former Blade Phil Jagielka hit the crossbar and Sam Baldock – the brother of United defender George – volleyed a good chance wide.

Even after going behind, Derby could have rescued a point in injury time, but John Egan deflected Tom Lawrence’s effort onto the post and the ball rebounded to safety.

“It's been a very tough week for everyone at the club,” Rooney added.

“The players are the ones who have to go out there and try and perform during this tough period and their application all week has been first class. They deserve a lot of praise for that.

“It’s easy to criticise players for not caring or being loyal or putting the effort in for their clubs, but they’re doing everything to get us through this.”

Asked for his view on United’s chances of promotion this season, Rooney said: “They’re a good team. Dropping down from the Premier League, they didn’t have the best start but they’ve hit some form.

“So I’m sure they’ll be up there at the end of the season challenging for the play-offs or automatic promotion.”