Wayne Rooney says Derby County’s players must continue to have confidence in their own ability after claiming a 2-0 home win over Huddersfield Town at Pride Park Stadium on Tuesday night.
George Edmundson’s header from Nathan Byrne's cross midway through the first-half put Derby in the driving seat at the interval in a half of few clear opportunities at either end.
Substitute Martyn Waghorn’s composed finish just after the hour mark, from Colin Kazim-Richards' fine pass, strengthened the Rams’ grip on the game as he burst clean through on goal to fire home his third goal of the season.
Rooney’s side saw out the latter stages of the game comfortably and could have added to their tally in a dominant second-half showing under the Pride Park floodlights.
Huddersfield were reduced to ten men late on when they had Jaden Brown sent off for a second bookable offence.
Derby have won their last four home games in succession and have also recorded and impressive six victories from their last eight outings in the Sky Bet Championship.
Speaking to RamsTV after the game, Rooney said: “It was a tough game tonight.
“We changed the system and I felt it could help us, but we struggled in the first half. We struggled pinning them back and in the end they pinned us back.
“Thankfully we went in at the break a goal up and I felt the changes I made at half time helped us, it made us more compact and easier for our full-backs.
“A great second goal got us the three points and I think this was a big win for us going into the Forest game on Friday night. We can go into it high on confidence and ready to try and get three points in that game.”
Rooney added: “As I said last week, I was disappointed with the result at Watford but I was especially pleased with the second-half performance.
“We need to take confidence in that we are a good team and we can keep pushing up the table. We are realistic and know there might be a defeat or two in there, but we will keep trying to win more games than we lose or draw.”
Rooney brought Edmundson and striker Lee Gregory off at the break and introduced Kamil Jozwiak and Waghorn into the action.
The 35-year-old was keen to make it clear that the changes were tactical and not because of the duos own performances.
He said: “It wasn’t through any fault of themselves that George and Lee went off and it wasn’t anything to do with their performances either.
“I just felt I had to change it tactically to try and get a foothold in the game and I felt the changes helped us do that.”
Derby are back in action on home turf on Friday night when they welcome East Midlands neighbours Nottingham Forest to Pride Park (7:45pm kick-off).