Wayne Rooney has Jason Knight to thank for his first win as interim manager of Derby County.
Derby moved off the bottom of the Championship table as Jason Knight scored the only goal in Saturday’s trip to Millwall and Wayne Rooney was full of praise for the Irish midfielder after the victory.
Rooney hailed the work rate of Knight in his post-match interview after a result that brought an end to the Rams’ 11-match winless streak.
“Knight gives you that, he gives you great energy all over the pitch,” Rooney told Rams TV.
“He finds his way into the box, and, as I said, the ball dropped nicely for him so I’m really pleased for him.”
Knight’s performances for Derby in recent months earned him his first call-up to the Republic of Ireland side in October and the 19-year-old made his debut against Finland.
The Dublin man is clearly held in high regard by Rooney, who has taken temporary charge of Derby after the sacking of Phillip Cocu last month.
Rooney hailed the response of his players to his instructions in recent weeks and insisted that there were signs of promise as Derby look to avoid relegation from the Championship, where the Rams have been since 2008.
“The lads have been fantastic. They are putting the work in and taking the information that we are giving them,” Rooney said.
“So I am delighted for the players. It does give players a lift and they showed a great attitude in terms of work rate, winning second balls, headers.
“I said to the players that in the last two games I’ve been really pleased with the performances. I thought Wycombe was good, I thought Coventry was better.
“I’ve been delighted with all of them.”
Saturday’s game at the Den was marred by a section of Millwall supporters who chose to boo the players that took a knee before kick-off.