Wayne Rooney believes Derby will stay up despite their 12-point deduction following a 1-0 home win over Reading. The Rams closed the gap to a position of safety in the Championship to seven points following Craig Forsyth’s first-half header – his first goal in more than five years.
Derby, who remain in administration, are the only side outside of the Championship’s top five still unbeaten at home this season and a proud Rooney declared: “I believe we will stay up if the points deduction stays as it is.
“The players trust and believe in me, which is being shown out on the pitch with their fantastic attitude. They are a really good group of players who are fighting for this club. We’re in a very difficult situation, but the players are giving absolutely everything and we’ve got to keep working to try and pick up points.
“We’re back on positive points and it’s never nice to be on minus points, so the players deserve a lot of praise for turning that around so quickly and, if we stick together, we will get through this.”
New Nottingham Forest head coach Steve Cooper highlighted his side’s improved second-half display as they came from behind to win 3-1 at Barnsley.
The hosts led through Cauley Woodrow’s first-half penalty before goals from Philip Zinckernagel, Brennan Johnson and Lewis Grabban sealed it for Forest.
We actually got into an equal amount of good positions in the first half – we just didn’t capitalise on it,” said Cooper. “We didn’t deserve to be one-nil down, but we didn’t deserve to be one-nil up either, but we could see where the game was there to be won, in behind and down the sides of Barnsley’s back line and we were doing that.
Aleksandar Mitrovic struck a first half hat-trick as Fulham eased their way to a 3-1 victory over Swansea.
The striker produced three clinical finishes – although Swansea claimed Mitrovic benefited from a generous offside decision for the opening goal – as Marco Silva’s side clinched their second win in five league games. Jamie Paterson replied for the visitors after Mitrovic had put the home side two up, but Swansea were unable to work their way back into the game and suffered a first defeat in five league games.
Substitute Jed Wallace scored the winner from the penalty spot as Millwall picked up just their second victory of the season with a 1-0 win over Bristol City, who had assistant Curtis Fleming in charge, in the absence of Covid-stricken manager Nigel Pearson.
Scott Parker felt his Bournemouth side did not turn up for 45 minutes after drawing 0-0 at Peterborough.
Cherries striker Dominic Solanke missed two late chances to win it for the visitors, but the club’s top scorer shot and headed over – the latter a good chance from a 90th-minute corner – as Peterborough held on for a precious point.
“We had some good chances but looked a bit off it. That’s football. They’re humans and sometimes have those moments. Dom’s been fantastic since I’ve come here and missed some chances, but he puts himself in good areas for the team. It was just not his night.”
Luton ended a six-game winless run in convincing fashion with a thumping 5-0 victory over high-flying Coventry at Kenilworth Road. Striker Elijah Adebayo and Harry Cornick both scored twice as Luton climbed to ninth in the table on goal difference.