Wayne Rooney was quick to direct the praise in the direction of his Derby County players after they produced a superb comeback to defeat high-flying AFC Bournemouth on Sunday.

Derby ran out 3-2 winners at Pride Park Stadium to move back onto zero points after it was confirmed earlier this week that the club had been deducted a further nine points from their season’s total for admitting breaches of English Football League accounting rules.

Those nine came after Derby had 12 points deducted for entering administration back in September.

So, after a difficult week for the club, Rooney’s players stepped up to the plate to produce a fine performance against the Cherries.

Derby took the lead against the Sky Bet Championship promotion-chasers early on as midfielder Jason Knight headed home his second goal of the season from Max Bird’s corner.

Bournemouth equalised shortly afterwards, however, as Jaidon Anthony fired home from a few yards out at the second attempt after Curtis Davies had cleared his initial effort off the line.

The visitors went on to take the lead before half-time as fired past Kelle Roos inside the box but falling behind against the league leaders going into the weekend didn’t knock the Rams off their stride.

The Rams continued to ask questions of Scott Parker’s side and skipper Tom Lawrence curled home a delightful equaliser just after the hour mark in front of the jubilant South Stand.

Minutes later, Lawrence converted from the penalty spot to turn the game on its head after Graeme Shinnie was brought down in the box and fire Derby to victory.

It was the first time this season that the Rams had come from behind to win a league game and Rooney couldn’t hide his delight at what he saw from his players on the pitch.

Speaking to RamsTV afterwards, Rooney said: “It was a good win and a tough game for us.

“Bournemouth are a very good team, we know that, but I fancied us today. The lads trained well all week and we felt there would be opportunities to hurt Bournemouth and we did that.

“I believed at half time that we would get the win. You get these feelings as a manager and I said to the players that we would get three points if we were a bit braver.

“We went into our shells a bit after making a mistake for the first goal. We weren’t brave and we weren’t trying to play, but I felt if we got a bit more control and got more braver on the ball then we could cause them problems and we did that.

“I said to the lads not to worry. I understand the fans, when you make a mistake and it leads to a goal, get frustrated but the way we play, there are reasons why we are doing it.

“We were trying to pull Bournemouth out to create gaps in the middle of the pitch. I thought we did that very in the second half, but what we can’t afford to do is go away from what we have worked on and planned throughout the week. If we trust it then it can pay off.”

He added: “We know we have a small chance to stay up and I have no doubt those players will give everything to try and get out of where we are."

Lawrence’s fine individual showing saw his brace take him onto four goals for the campaign to date.

The Derby skipper’s quartet of goals have all come on home turf this term and Rooney believes Lawrence is leading by example with his performances.

“I think Tom has been excellent all season,” he said. “He hasn’t got the goals he has deserved at times, but he knows he needs to score more.

“I think he has led by example in his work rate for the team all season. It was a great first goal from him to get us level and it was pleasing to see us get a penalty, which he converted.”

Nineteen-year-old Liam Thompson made his first league appearance in the game after an impressive campaign in the Under-23s.

The midfielder played the full 90 minutes and Rooney was delighted with the Academy graduate’s showing.

“Liam was excellent and, to be honest, it was as good a debut as I’ve seen,” he said.

“That shows the trust I have in him that I can play him for 90 minutes against the side sitting at the top of the league.

“He deserved it and it’s a good message for any of the younger players at the club. If you do well in the Under-23s or in the Under-18s then you get your chance and, like Tommo did today, you’ve got to take them.”

Derby return to Championship action with a trip to West London to take on Fulham at Craven Cottage on Wednesday evening (7:45pm kick-off).