Millwall manager Gary Rowett believes Wayne Rooney has gone back to basics at Derby County and made the Rams a difficult team to beat, South London Press report.
Derby take on the Lions at Pride Park this weekend.
Rooney took over Derby when they were bottom of the table having won just one game all season. Now, the Rams sit in 18th position, seven points above the drop zone.
Under Rooney’s guidance, Derby have taken 33 points from 22 games, keeping ten clean sheets. Their form over a 46-game campaign would be in or around the playoffs.
Speaking to reporters ahead of the game, Rowett shares his thoughts on Derby’s form.
“Wayne has taken the job permanently and if you look recently they have been really, really good. He has made them a little bit tougher than they previously were and has gone back to basics. Up until the last couple of games they looked like that had pulled away. But because all the teams are fighting for points and fighting for their lives it is difficult to get away from the bottom positions completely. They’ve lacked a bit of consistency but we’re playing a side who have been in pretty good form over the last 10-12 games. It will feel very different going to Pride Park without fans but still be a similar type of challenge,” Rowett explained.
Derby picked up their first win under Rooney in the reverse fixture at Millwall, with Jason Knight scoring the only goal of the game in-front of 2,000 Millwall supporters.
While the Rams’ form on the road has been questionable of late, their home form at Pride Park has been largely formidable with 13 points from their last five games.
But Millwall have a decent record at Pride Park, their last defeat there coming back in 2017 when ironically Rowett was in charge of Derby who he guided to the playoffs.
Millwall’s last two visits to Pride Park ended in 1-0 wins, while Rowett has interestingly never lost at Pride Park in the Championship while in charge of an opposing team.
Derby will know what to expect in what will likely be a very tight game.