Preston North End's clash with Derby is a key game for Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney has labelled Derby County’s visit to Preston North End as a ‘must-win’ game for his Rams side.

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 12:30 pm

Rooney’s men sit fourth from bottom of the table and are four points better off than Rotherham who occupy 22nd place.

The Millers have two games in hands, though, leaving Derby vulnerable and looking over their shoulders.

So the former England skipper is in no doubts about the importance of the Deepdale clash on Tuesday night (7pm).

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Wayne Rooney is tracked by Sean Maguire in Preston North End's victory over Derby in the Carabao Cup in September

Rooney said: “It is a must-win game for us, that’s the pressure my players have to deal with.

“We have to make sure we win the game, we have to find a way to win regardless of performance. The players know that.”

PNE have beaten Derby twice this season, 2-1 in the Carabao Cup at Pride Park in September and 1-0 in the league on Boxing Day, Alan Browne with a stoppage-time winner.

Assessing Preston’s style of play, Rooney said: “We are going into the game to win, to attack them and get as many goalscoring opportunities as we can but also knowing we have to be cautious because Preston are a good team as well.

“They can mix it up, they can be direct and they can play. When they get in your half they play a bit more football than they do in their own half. We have to be ready for that.”

Derby have lost their last three games, the latest of those a 2-1 reverse at Blackburn last Friday night.

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