Rooney and Knight revel in big win ahead of Hillsborough trip
Caretaker boss Wayne Rooney and midfielder Jason Knight have both expressed their delight in Derby County's 4-0 win at Birmingham on Tuesday.
The Rams were three up at half-time thanks to goals from Kristian Bielik, Graeme Shinnie from the penalty spot and Colin Kazim-Richards.
Knight then added a fourth in the second-half to complete a resounding win and continue the Rams' promising overall form - the performance a good response to Saturday's late defeat to Preston.
And as Knight told Sky Sports after the game, the two goals in three minutes Derby scored in the first-half were crucial, those strikes soon added to by Kazim-Richards' third.
He said: "It was important to get the three points more than anything, but to follow it up with a good performance was really pleasing.
“We knew it was vital to start well, we had done it in the previous few games, so we wanted to do it again.
“The two goals early on was a healthy start in the game for us. Regardless of who we were playing, we knew it was important to get the win and now we can look forward to Friday’s game at Sheffield Wednesday.”
Rooney, meanwhile, felt a result like that at Birmingham had been on the cards for some time.
He told RamsTV: "It was a great performance; there were some very good goals and it is a fantastic win.
“I am delighted for the lads. As I said a few days ago, the performances have been getting better and I feel this result has been coming.
“We were the better team from the off and on the front foot, so we felt it was a big opportunity for us here tonight. We played with Kamil Jozwiak on the right and Louie Sibley on the left because we felt we could get in down the sides and cause them problems.
“The second half is always difficult when you are 3-0 up and whether you go for more goals or hold on to it, but I thought the lads managed the game really well.”
Attention now turns to the New Year's Day game at Sheffield Wednesday, the hosts having parted company with boss Tony Pulis after just 45 days in charge but responding with an immediate win over Middlesbrough.
Rooney said: "Friday will be a tough game at Sheffield Wednesday. As we stand here now, they are without a manager and there is always a reaction when you lose a manager.
“We will prepare for that; we’ll be ready and I am confident we can get a positive result.
"We have just come out of the bottom three, but I have full confidence and belief in this team that we will keep climbing the table.
“Obviously with the January Transfer Window coming up it is important that we do our business right to iron out some small cracks that we need to take that next step forward.
“All the games coming up are important for us right now if we want to keep climbing up the table and put ourselves in a better position to finish in the highest place we can.”