Derby County forward Wayne Rooney has told reporters for RamsTV that he believes the club can still reach the playoffs this season if they can find some consistency.
The Rams are currently 16th in the Championship table, eight points off the top six.
It hasn’t gone to plan for new manager Phillip Cocu. A poor summer recruitment and injuries to key players have had a detrimental effect on the team this season.
But Rooney, who becomes available in January, is still confident Derby can reach the top six as he looks back on a previous title collapse at former club Manchester United.
Without a doubt. I think this league is about being consistent. If you can do that, you can climb up a lot of places. I’ve lost a Premier League title with four games to go, being seven points clear. It’s not even Christmas yet so there is plenty of points to play for.
Rooney agreed an 18-month deal to join Derby last summer. However, with the MLS season at the time still ongoing, his move doesn’t become official until January.
It may be too late by then in terms of a potential playoff push. Derby are winless in four games, and their awful away record leaves them with an uphill task.
But having said that, Rooney has experienced a comeback against the odds. Back in 2010-11, United were seven points clear of Manchester City with only a handful of games to go. City ended up winning the title that year on the final day of the season.
In more recent years Fulham have reached the playoffs after languishing in midtable at the start of January. The Whites, however, showed signs of an upturn in form.
Derby, on the other hand, have struggled especially in the final third. If the Rams are to reach the playoffs, they must start creating and finding the net more with their current tally of 21 goals in 21 Championship games among the league’s worst.