Wayne Rooney’s Derby County suffered a blow in their hopes to stay safe from relegation on Tuesday night.

Derby were battered by Preston North End 3-0. Ben Whiteman, Ched Evans and Ryan Ledson all scored for the Lilywhites.

After the match, Rooney was asked about his side’s chances going into the final few fixtures: “Do I believe we can win the last three games? Yes, but we have to rely on Rotherham losing games. It is out of our hands.

“We just have to focus on Saturday, a huge game for us against Birmingham. All our attention will go to that game, and we will be watching with one eye closed the Rotherham game to see what the outcome of that is.”

Rooney admitted the third and final goal was ‘ridiculous’ and that his side didn’t deserve ‘anything’ from the match.

“We started the second half brightly looking to get the equaliser but conceded another soft goal from my point of view, and then it is very difficult to come back into the game.

“We conceded a ridiculous third goal and I don’t think we deserved anything out of the game tonight.”

The Derby boss has been remained confident all along that his side will avoid relegation. When asked if the defeat has made him worry slightly, the manager said:

“We have to be realistic where we are at”, he said.

“It wasn’t good enough. We started the game really bright and on the front foot and then we give away another sloppy goal, yet again, which means we are chasing the game,” Rooney added.

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