Wayne Rooney says his Derby County side deserved to beat Sheffield United in Carabao Cup

Wayne Rooney, the Derby County manager, believes his side deserved to win tonight’s Carabao Cup second-round tie at Sheffield United after crashing out of the competition at Bramall Lane.

Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 10:20 pm
Wayne Rooney, manager of Derby County: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

Derby led 1-0 at half-time through Louie Sibley’s crisp strike, but the Blades prevailed in the second half with goals from Luke Freeman and Billy Sharp sealing their safe passage into the third round.

Derby could have drawn level immediately from kick-off after Freeman’s equaliser, Michael Verrips saving smartly from Jack Stretton’s effort, and Rooney was impressed with his young side’s showing in South Yorkshire.

“I thought overall we deserved to win the game,” insisted the former England international. “But that’s cup football. If you don’t take your chances, that’s what can happen.

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“If we’re more clinical I think we win the game comfortably. We were superb in terms of coming to Sheffield United away, they had some experienced players on the pitch and I think the young players deserve a lot of credit.”

United also had chances to go ahead before Sibley opened the scoring, with David McGoldrick, Freeman and Daniel Jebbison all enjoying good openings before the half-time whistle.

Rooney, who selected former Blade Richard Stearman against his former side and had another on the bench in Ravel Morrison, is now preparing his side for a return to Championship action this weekend when they face their local rivals Nottingham Forest.

“We were never overlooking this game,” Rooney added. “Our attentions now turn to Forest on Saturday and we’ll be ready.”