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Wayne Rooney pleased with Derby’s progress after Brentford draw

Brentford v Derby County – Sky Bet Championship – Brentford Community Stadium
(Image credit: John Walton)

Wayne Rooney says his Derby side are growing in confidence and belief every week as he stakes a claim for the manager’s job on a permanent basis.

County moved to within one point of safety in the Championship after a goalless draw at play-off chasing Brentford extended their unbeaten run to four games.

Interim boss Rooney said: “I don’t think it looks good that I’ve come out of the team and we’re unbeaten in four games!

“I’ve heard nothing about my position but it’s for other people to say whether I’m staking a claim.

“All I know is there’s been a massive improvement, there’s confidence and belief running through the team and we can get better, so over the last four games I’m happy and excited for the games to come.

“I’m confident in myself that I can do this job, but I don’t want to take any credit for what the players are doing because they are putting a lot of work in to get the points.”

Bryan Mbeumo and Josh Dasilva both hit the woodwork for Brentford, while Kamil Jozwiak’s effort suffered the same fate as the game opened up after the break.

Rooney said his side could have broken the deadlock with a little more conviction, but was pleased with another clean sheet.

“Our team shape and discipline was fantastic and with a little more belief we might have gone on to nick something,” he said.

“You have to try to change things step by step and our first priority was clean sheets.

“You know you won’t get many chances here because Brentford are a very good team, but we had a bit of luck at times and this is a very good point for us.”

The point did come at a cost for County, who lost centre-back Curtis Davies with an ankle injury.

Rooney said: “He is not good. He has been fantastic for us in the last few games, a real leader and has showed great experience, but it’s an opportunity for someone to come in and start.”

Brentford head coach Thomas Frank insisted his side’s 10-game unbeaten run is the perfect foundation to stay in touch with the Championship’s promotion pack.

But he wants last season’s play-off finalists to start turning draws into wins, having drawn six of their last 10.

The Dane said: “I am a glass half full man so 10 games unbeaten at this level is a great validation, but of course we want to turn the draws into wins.

“In several of those draws we have been the better team and they could easily have been wins, but once again it is down to those fine margins.

“Derby have some good players and they came here wanting to get one point and I understand and respect that they want to run and defend, but when you create five good chances to their one, you have to take them.

“We have a higher level to go to offensively and we have not hit that enough this season, but we have a solid foundation. I want us to find that spark in the final third, but tonight there were too many times where we didn’t keep the ball well enough.”