Swansea 2-1 Derby: Wayne Rooney’s woes deepen as Rams slide dangerously close to the drop zone and Morgan Whittaker and Connor Roberts cancel Tom Lawrence’s prelude
- Tom Lawrence opened the scoring when Derby got the game off to a promising start
- They couldn’t hold on, however, when Morgan Whittaker and Connor Roberts scored a goal
- Derby is in grave danger and is only three points above the drop zone
- Rotherham is the team three points below Derby but has one match in hand
Wayne Rooney’s troubled first season in management will stretch into an excruciating week after the defensive rounds have thrown his team further into relegation bog.
Not even the four-day bonding session in South Wales that preceded this latest defeat could help fuel the will to assert themselves against opponents who have already been promised a play-off spot.
His derby team is just three points above Sheffield Wednesday and Rotherham, with the latter having one game in hand and two games left, unlike that of his rivals who will meet next weekend.
Swansea’s win over Derby on Saturday has put the Rams in serious relegation trouble
Wayne Rooney’s squad face a nervous final of the season hovering over the drop zone
“It’s the same every week, I can’t fault your efforts, but we have to stop giving away those goals,” said Rooney. ‘It was almost a replica of the past few weeks. It’s very frustrating. ‘
An hour later, with the results going their way, the decision to take the players away had looked like a feat, but it all collapsed within three minutes.
“We were well prepared, it was a chance to bring them together and do hard work. If we had won it would have been fine. I knew if we hadn’t, there would be questions, ”he said.
“The only thing you can’t really work on is the concentration of the individual player. Every time we switch off we seem to admit. We left ourselves with a game that we have to win. ‘
Derby had taken the lead in the game when Tom Lawrence scored in the 48th minute
The Rams could have almost secured their championship future if they had stuck to victory
After a period of constant challenges that spanned everything from dubious property offers to questions about wage payments and key breaches, the next seven days promise to be the toughest of them all. The third tier status, which has fallen for the first time since 1984, is a real possibility.
“I have to make sure the boys are ready and that is all I can focus on,” added one of England’s greatest players, reduced from the sidelines to the role of spectator after retiring from the sidelines.
With just one win in fourteen games, he must lift his men off the ground as their gloomy sequence on Wednesday and Rotherham offered an unlikely path to redemption.
Rooney had reason to feel confident after an hour. The live table showed that safety, Derby’s only ambition after so much unrest, was within reach.
There was plenty to give an update, but Rotherham lost and Liberty Stadium visitors were up after Tom Lawrence hit Nathan Byrne’s cross from close range.
The Swans parted ways in the 63rd minute through Morgan Whittaker and triggered the turnaround
With Colin Kazim-Richards as a physical threat, they began to play with a certainty that denied their precarious position.
Then came the one-two punch that could become the crucial three minutes of a campaign in which problems arise that go far beyond Covid’s tests.
The first derby boy, Morgan Whittaker, hit Ban Cabango’s shot with an angled header on the long post that trickled over the line beyond Kelle Roos’s desperate hand.
That was compounded when Barely a threat Swansea made two from almost exactly the same spot. Connor Roberts was fed by Matt Grimes and shot the ball home.
On the edge, Rooney whirled around in frightened disappointment. What had promised to be a blissfully straightforward last week in which plans could be made for the future will now be the final phase of his crash course in crisis management.
Connor Roberts quit the job for the Welsh hosts, whose play-off spot has already been secured