Rooney and Bielik hail crucial win over Bournemouth
Derby County boss Wayne Rooney and match-winner Krystian Bielik have both highlighted the importance of Tuesday night's win over Bournemouth.
Bielik's first-half goal secured a first win under Rooney since he was confirmed as permanent Rams manager and provided a good response to Saturday's loss to fellow strugglers Rotherham.
And Rooney praised his players for their display.
He told RamsTV: "I wanted a reaction tonight from the players. They performed brilliantly, so I am delighted for the lads and they deserved the win.
“Saturday was the first time that I have been in charge and I felt the energy and the enthusiasm we’ve been playing with wasn’t there. I made it clear that I wanted a reaction and I thought the players were excellent from the first minute until the last.
“I thought in the first-half we dominated. We pressed high and the game plan was excellent. We changed the system to three at the back and we only had one day to work on that, but the players took that information on well and quickly.
“In the second-half, we were dropping too deep. I changed the system to try and get us out of that. It was natural that they were going to drop in. I tried to freshen things up with Kornell McDonald coming on. I brought him on for his energy, but I felt there were gaps there too for him to use his pace to go and try to nick the second goal as well.
“If we play with that energy, that mentality, that desire to go and win the game and take the game to our opposition then we are a hard team to beat. We are capable of beating anyone in this league.”
Bielik, meanwhile, scored from close range following Graeme Shinnie's corner just after the half-hour mark, all the more impressive given he'd received treatment for a nasty cut to the head not long before the goal.
He said: "We knew that on Saturday against Rotherham wasn’t good enough and we had to start the game on the front foot from the first minute. That’s what we did until the last minute tonight.
"Rotherham play direct, physical football and you can see that Bournemouth wanted to play from the back. We trained how we wanted to play and that worked today.
“In the second half, they changed formation and caused us problems and cost us more energy, but we dug in and deserved the three points.
“We dug in until the final minute today. It wasn’t easy but we showed quality, togetherness, energy and we deserved three points. We think about the next game now.”
Derby now prepare to head to Queen's Park Rangers on Saturday.
Cover photo: Derby County FC.