Derby County news: Wayne Rooney makes frank admission ahead of Blackburn clash

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It has been a season to forget so far for Derby County supporters who have seen their side struggle for consistency in the Championship.

Despite initially making a bright start to life under the guidance of manager Wayne Rooney earlier this year, the Rams' form in recent months has been extremely poor.

A run of just one win in their last 10 matches has resulted in Derby being dragged into a relegation dogfight by Rotherham United who are determined to retain their second-tier status next month.

Set to face Blackburn Rovers tomorrow, the Rams cannot afford to suffer yet another setback with the Millers ready to pounce.

Making reference to his side's current situation in the Championship, Rooney has insisted that he believes that his players will be able to guide the club to safety and overcome a lack of form by getting back on track in their clash with Tony Mowbray's side on Friday.

Speaking to the Derby Telegraph ahead of his side's visit to Ewood Park about the Rams' survival hopes, the 35-year-old said: "For me, I am confident we will stay in the league, as I have said before.

"I am calm and relaxed, and I have full belief in the players .

"I think the players take their lead from me.

"I don't think the players are that worried, I don't think they are anxious.

"I want them to believe in themselves, I want them to believe they are good enough to stay in this league, which they are.

"I believe 100% in this group and I believe 100% we will stay in this division.

"I would not sit here and make that statement if I didn't believe it."

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Whilst Rooney may have total confidence in his players, it is now time for Derby to back-up off-the-pitch statements by delivering the goods when it really matters.

In what is arguably their biggest game of the season to date due to their precarious position in the Championship, the Rams know that they will need to be at their very best in order to secure a positive result against Blackburn.

Rooney could turn to top-scorer Colin Kazim-Richards for inspiration up-front as the forward has already been directly involved in nine league goals this season.

Tom Lawrence may also prove to be a difference-maker on Friday as he could use his wealth of experience at Championship level to his advantage as he featured on 221 occasions in this division during this career.

By picking up a vital three points in their clash with Blackburn, Derby may be able to use the momentum gained from this result to achieve a similar amount of success in their upcoming games against Preston North End and Birmingham City.

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