Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe hails Wayne Rooney and Derby County's 'incredible' efforts despite administration

Derby County’s tumultuous season continues as they look to fight off relegation despite having a 21 point reduction.

By Tom Sandells
Friday, 1st April 2022, 12:30 pm
Tom Lawrence (right) celebrate with Ravel Morrison after he scored for Derby
Tom Lawrence (right) celebrate with Ravel Morrison after he scored for Derby

The Rams recently slipped to the bottom of the table despite gnerally being the highest placed of the three in the relegation zone at times this season.

It has been a monumental effort from Derby have been trying to overcome off-field matters whilst losing key players to remain in the second tier.

They are in somewhat of a false league position when it comes to the quality that they possess, there are many experienced Championship players in their ranks and they paid around £5m for club captain Tom Lawrence.

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Had it not been for the 21 points they had taken off due to going into administration and other financial issues, Derby would have 46 points, putting them 17th in the table and 12 points clear of the drop.

Instead they are rock bottom, eight points off the pace and have seven games left – one less than the three teams above them.

Despite their troubles and their league position, Wayne Rooney’s side came in for plenty of praise from Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe ahead of Saturday’s game at Pride Park, 3pm.

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A regular viewer of Rooney’s side as he has been doing his homework on other teams throughout the season, Lowe spoke in glowing terms of the job his fellow Scouser is doing.

The former Manchester United captain was offered an interview at his boyhood club Everton with a view to taking on their top job in the Premier League but turned it down recently, citing his intent to be at Old Trafford instead.

Lowe feels the work he has done so far at Derby is ‘borderline incredible.’

He said: “They're one of the best footballing teams in the league from what I've seen.

"They're brave, they're well coached, they're well drilled. Derby are one of the teams that I've watched the most because when they've played West Bromwich Albion, Blackburn Rovers, Stoke City, we've been there and been watching.

"What Wayne has done is borderline incredible getting them the points that they have got and to still have a chance of staying in the division.

"They will still think they have a good chance of staying up and truth be known, after Saturday, I'd love them to do it. They've been punished.

"They've been in a sticky situation all season but what they've done is brought young players through and played unbelievable football.

"The kids that he has brought through have had a great opportunity to play Championship football and a couple of them will go on to bigger and better things.

"It's borderline incredible what they've done and if they manage to stay in the division it will be unbelievable.”

Derby will welcome Preston this weekend having won two of their last eight games, both victories coming against relegation rivals in Barnsley and Peterborough United.

They have promotion-chasing Fulham and Queens Park Rangers to come this season but otherwise face bottom haf sides, so whilst unlikely, their survival is not impossible.

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