Wayne Rooney has stressed the importance of Derby County building on the positive aspects of Saturday’s performance against Wycombe Wanderers when they face Coventry City at Pride Park Stadium on Tuesday night (7:45pm kick-off).
Derby were held to a 1-1 draw by Wycombe as a late Matt Bloomfield goal cancelled out Duane Holmes’ well-worked opener for the Rams.
Rooney, who is leading the side from the coaching staff currently in place while the search for Phillip Cocu’s successor continues, felt there were encouraging signs to build on across the 90 minutes.
While Derby were not able to get the win against the Chairboys, they addressed a run of four defeats in a row and four matches without a goal.
The next step now is for Derby to pick up all three points and begin to climb the Sky Bet Championship table after a disappointing start to the 2020/21 campaign.
Rooney, who has had little time to work with the squad on the training ground with the games coming thick and fast, is using every avenue possible to get important messages across to the squad ahead of Tuesday night’s meeting with last season’s League 1 champions.
“In terms of the preparation ahead of Tuesday, you can’t do everything you would like to do with the timeframe short between matches, but we have got that the majority of the season,” Rooney told RamsTV.
“There are other ways you can get the information to the players and prepare the team, so we have been taking advantage of other ways around that. In terms of the key messages we want in preparing players, there is no issue in getting them across.
“I felt there were a lot of positives at the weekend. We created more chances and had more opportunities on goal. On another day we could have scored more goals and won quite comfortably.
“I was pleased with the work that the players put in and some of the messages we gave internally that we wanted to see in the game, we saw a lot of them. I was pleased with the performance and there are a lot of positives to take into the next game.”
He added: “I think this will be more of a football game than on Saturday as Coventry try and play. For Saturday’s game the basics were important.
“For any game like Saturday or a team that tries to play football the basics have to be there for us. I am sure there will be a bit more football played on Tuesday night from both teams.”
The game against Wycombe was Rooney’s first picking the team and making tactical decisions.
Reflecting on Saturday, he said: “It is different preparation in terms of the hour or so before kick-off. As a player you are getting ready and preparing to go and do your warm-up and then go and play the game.
“There was a bit of dead time which for myself personally I just tried to use to relax and you’re just wating around for the game to start.
“I didn’t want to give the players too much information as we had done all the preparation, so I tried to stay away from them for a bit. Saturday was different, but it was how I expected it.”