Wayne Rooney admitted Derby County have to improve quickly after they fell to a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Rotherham United on Saturday afternoon.
Jamie Lindsay’s close-range finish with four minutes of normal time remaining handed the visitors all three points at Pride Park Stadium.
The defeat ended the Rams’ four-game unbeaten run at Pride Park Stadium and saw the Millers leapfrog them into 22nd place in the Sky Bet Championship table.
Rooney, who was appointed as Derby’s permanent manager on Friday until the summer of 2023, was less than impressed with the performance of his side over the course of the 90 minutes.
In an honest appraisal of the match, he felt Derby got exactly what they deserved.
“I think we got what we deserved out of the game, if I am being honest,” Rooney told RamsTV.
“The performance, especially the first-half, wasn’t good enough. I think we were sloppy, passing balls out of play, didn’t have a good enough tempo on the ball and we gave them encouragement.
“The lads had a job to do today on the pitch and I am not standing here questioning them through a lack of trying. What I am saying is that quality-wise and concentration-wise today wasn’t good enough. I am not going to stand here and make any excuses.
“We didn’t deserve anything out of the game and we have to improve. We know that and we have a game coming up on Tuesday at home to Bournemouth and we have to be a lot better than we were today.”
He added: “We knew what Rotherham would bring; we knew their players have high-energy and we were expecting that, but we panicked on the ball.
“We weren’t comfortable taking the ball and there were too many times that simple passes going astray and the lads were letting the ball roll under their foot. That is a lack of concentration.”
Goalkeeper David Marshall missed the game due to illness and was replaced by Kelle Roos in goal.
Rooney is hopeful that Marshall, Scotland’s first-choice international shot-stopper, could return for Tuesday’s home fixture against AFC Bournemouth.
“He’s not well,” Rooney said. “David has tested negative of COVID-19, so it’s not that.
“He just hasn’t felt well in the last couple of days and hopefully he will be ready for Tuesday.”
With Marshall, and the experienced Curtis Davies, both unavailable the captain’s armband was handed to Academy graduate Jason Knight.
The young midfielder has been impressive form throughout the campaign and Rooney felt he deserved to take the armband.
“I think he deserves it,” Rooney explained.
“His attitude in training and his performances have been first-class. He deserved to wear the armband today. Jason is a fantastic player and he is doing really well for us.”