Derby County manager Wayne Rooney is wary of a Peterborough United ‘bounce back’

Derby County manager Wayne Rooney has urged his players to be wary of a Peterborough United ‘bounce back’ in tomorrow’s Championship clash at the Weston Homes Stadium (August 14, 12.30pm).

Friday, 13th August 2021, 2:15 pm
Wayne Rooney leads the applause after Derby's win over League Two side Salford in the Carabao Cup. Photo: Tony Marshall Getty Images

Derby started their Championship campaign with a home draw against an unfancied Huddersfield Town team last weekend and edged past League Two side Salford on penalties in the first round of the Carabao Cup - a result Rooney described as his ‘proudest in management’ given a very young side fought back from 2-0 and 3-2 down to go through.

In contrast Posh have been in the doldrums after a 3-0 defeat at Luton in their first Championship match in eight years and then a 4-0 humbling at home to League One Plymouth in the Carabao Cup.

But at a pre-match Derby County press conference Rooney said: “They have had a tough start, but it is the first league game of the season at home, so I am sure their fans will be right behind them. We know it will be a tough game and we have to be at our best to win. I feel if we are at our best, we have got a chance of winning the game.

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“We have to be brave. We have to play with courage and be willing to take the ball. If we do that, we have a good chance. If we don’t and get dragged into their type of game, then it will be a very tough game.

“We are expecting them to bounce back from a tough start. We have to do everything we can to go there and get three points though.

“The start of the season, in terms of the draw against Huddersfield and going through in the cup against Salford, has been good, but there is going to be a time where it is not so good and we have bad moments, which we have to be ready for.

“There will be moments where the players have to deal with the crowd, the pressure of the media and they have to cope with anything else that is going on with the club. It’s up to me to protect the youngsters especially and give them the game time when I feel it is right.”