Wayne Rooney was pleased to see Martyn Waghorn rewarded for his perseverance with a goal in Derby County’s 2-0 home win over Huddersfield Town on Tuesday night.
Waghorn came off the bench at half-time against the Terriers to burst clear on goal, from Colin Kazim-Richards’ fine through-ball, to slot home to confirm all three points for Rooney’s side.
The versatile frontman had not scored in his previous 18 appearances but continued to play a key role, especially in recent weeks, with his industrious performances and by registering a number of assists.
Waghorn’s goal against Huddersfield was his third of the campaign, having previously scored direct from free-kicks in the 1-1 draws against Nottingham Forest and Cardiff City in October, and saw him reach a career milestone.
The frontman’s composed finish was his 121st career goal and his 100th in the league – and Rooney was pleased with his impact and attitude coming off the bench.
“Waggy has been better in recent weeks,” Rooney told RamsTV. “His energy has been really good for us; he’s worked really hard for the team and he has just been lacking that goal.
“I said to him on Monday when that I told him he wasn’t starting that I wanted him to be engaged and be ready to come on.
“I also said he could come off the bench and win us the game - and he did that. I thought he was very good when he came on.”
Waghorn has made 22 appearances in all competitions so far this season for the Rams after recovering from a calf injury which saw him miss the start of the campaign.