Wayne Rooney believes the only way is up for his Derby side after they beat Swansea 2-0 to record a first home win in the Championship this season.
Derby are still in the bottom three on goal difference but are unbeaten in six since Rooney was made interim manager.
Colin Kazim-Richards gave the home side the perfect start by scoring in the fourth minute when he was the first to react after Lee Buchanan knocked on a free-kick.
Swansea were second best all over the pitch and they went further behind in the 37th minute when Kamil Jozwiak drove in a shot from just inside the box from a Martyn Waghorn pass.
Rooney said: “There’s a lot of games left and I’m very confident we will not be there (in the bottom three) at the end of the season.
“It’s not nice to be down there but we need to get our attention and focus on moving higher up the table because we are better than where we are – I think everyone can see that.
“In the last month there have been so many positives and I think if we keep putting the work in and showing the moments of quality and class we’ve got, then I’ve no doubt we’ll move out.
“It’s a big win for us. Swansea are a very good team so to beat them at home shows where the players are at. They have been getting more confident with each game and tonight was a very good performance.”
After their opener, Derby never looked back and almost scored again in the 19th minute when Jason Knight’s 20-yard shot was touched onto the post by Swans goalkeeper Freddie Woodman.
Kazim-Richards headed against the crossbar in stoppage time and although Swansea improved in the second half, they did not seriously threaten Derby’s goal.
Swansea head coach Steve Cooper said: “It’s really disappointing. From the first minute we didn’t do things right, didn’t start the game well.
“We never really got a foothold in the game by doing the non-negotiables of attacking and defending and because of that, we found ourselves 2-0 down and in the end we gave ourselves too much to do.
“It shows that if you don’t do things properly you can get punished and on the basics of defending, we fell short on both goals.
“We had to go chasing the game a bit second half but it was just a poor night in every sense of the performance and it’s one that’s really disappointing.
“The players know, I know and we have to quickly address it and get ready for the next one.”
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