Derby County news: Wayne Rooney makes frank admission after his side's heavy defeat

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After salvaging a draw last Friday in their clash with arch-rivals Nottingham Forest at Pride Park, Derby County would have been aiming to get back to winning ways in the Championship against Cardiff City.

However, it turned out to be a night to forget for the Rams in the Welsh capital as they suffered a 4-0 defeat to the Bluebirds.

Derby manager Wayne Rooney opted to make six changes for the fixture as Kelle Roos, Beni Baningime, George Edmundson, Lee Gregory, Louie Sibley and Teden Mengi were all given opportunities to impress.

Despite missing two chances in the opening stages of the clash, Cardiff eventually opened the scoring in the 22nd minute as Leandro Bacuna fired home.

The Bluebirds then doubled their advantage in the second-half as Kieffer Moore netted his 16th league goal of the campaign.

Bacuna put the game beyond the Rams' reach in the 56th minute with his second strike of the night before Will Vaulks added a fourth in injury time to compound Derby's misery.

Having missed out on extending the gap between them and the relegation zone to 11 points, the Rams will now be looking to get back on track when they face Coventry City on Saturday.

Following his side's defeat, Rooney admitted that his gamble to make a host of changes for the trip to Cardiff ultimately didn't pay off.

Speaking to the Derby Telegraph after the game, the 34-year-old said: "We have been monitoring the players over the last few weeks in terms of there has been a lot of games and players needed a rest.

"I felt we had Cardiff, Coventry and Barnsley coming up and I felt tonight was the right time to give them a rest.

"It is a gamble, of course, I know that, and it is a gamble I took and it didn't pay off but it was an opportunity for players to come in and show me that they deserve to be in the team.

"It is a disappointing result, obviously."

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Whilst it would have been a big ask for Derby to beat a Cardiff side who entered yesterday's clash on a nine-game unbeaten run in the Championship, their display left a lot to be desired.

Outclassed throughout the fixture, the Rams will need to step up their performance levels this weekend when they head to St Andrew's to face Coventry.

Having opted to rest a number of his side's key performers, it will be intriguing to see if any of the players who came in as replacements for the Cardiff fixture are given another chance to impress by Rooney in the coming weeks.

Although Derby currently have a healthy barrier in terms of points between them and the relegation zone, they cannot afford to rest on their laurels and thus it is imperative that they bounce back against Coventry.

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