Wayne Rooney has highlighted Derby County’s increased belief as a key factor in putting points on the board in recent games.
Derby have picked up three draws and a win in their last four Sky Bet Championship outings to begin to move in the right direction after a disappointing start to the campaign.
Back-to-back home draws against Wycombe Wanderers and Coventry City began Rooney’s reign in charge of the Rams as he leads the coaching team while the search for a permanent successor to Phillip Cocu continues.
Both matches saw the visitors score late to earn 1-1 draws at Pride Park Stadium, but the squad did not let it dampen their spirits or resolve for the tricky away fixtures at Millwall and Brentford in the last few days.
Jason Knight’s single goal earned a 1-0 win at The Den on Saturday, before a resolute display at the Brentford Community Stadium on Wednesday saw the Rams claim a goalless draw and successive clean sheets for the first time this term.
Rooney, 35, has made it clear that the improved confidence within the camp has been important - while he has also praised the players for their work rate and commitment in proving they are up for the fight on the pitch.
“I think the belief,” Rooney told RamsTV when asked what has changed in recent games after the goalless draw at Brentford.
“I said to the players again after the game that with a bit more belief we might have gone on and won that game.
“I think the players are trusting in what we are doing and what we’re asking of them. That’s clear to see from the performances, but we know we have a good team.
“We’ve got good players and we can start winning more games and picking up more points. It is about that belief and that hunger which maybe didn’t seem to be there before the last few weeks.”
Rooney added: “You see the effort the lads are putting in. They are working hard, they’re running, they’re blocking shots, they’re tackling and giving their all.”
Derby have two home games on the horizon inside five days as they look to improve their home form.
The side are yet to win at Pride Park Stadium this term but have clashes against Stoke City on Saturday and Swansea City on Wednesday which Rooney says they must make the most of.
“It’s a big chance for us,” Rooney explained.
“I am looking forward to the next two games back at Pride Park. We need to push on now, we need to start picking up wins and points at home because that will be vital for us.”