Championship: Rooney praises Derby’s desire in win while Watford go third

Wayne Rooney was keen to shift the praise towards his players after landing his first win as permanent Derby manager.

Krystian Bielik’s tidy finish in the first half was enough to see off promotion-chasing Bournemouth 1-0 at Pride Park. The Rams were good value for the win and it was a victory which lifted them out of the bottom three.

A delighted Rooney reflected on the maiden success, saying: “To get any win is great. Obviously I’ve not been looking at it like that [first win] as I’ve been doing it a while but yeah I’m delighted. But most of all I’m really pleased for the players. It shows what a difference it makes playing with more desire, and that desire to stop crosses.

“I demanded a reaction tonight and in fairness it has been a difficult couple of weeks. I felt this game had a lot of pressure on us tonight. There’s only one game lately where I’ve been disappointed in us and that was the loss to Rotherham last week. But I was delighted with their reaction tonight.”

Even the late introduction of Jack Wilshere, who agreed terms with Bournemouth until the end of the season on Monday, failed to inspire Jason Tindall’s side as they fell to a second successive defeat.

Xisco Munoz urged his Watford side to improve their away record after Troy Deeney’s penalty saw off Barnsley 1-0 and earned the Hornets a 10th league success at Vicarage Road this season. The captain blasted home from 12 yards after Callum Brittain had blocked his 26th-minute cross with his right arm to improve a home record that was already the best in England. Watford moved up to third place in the Championship as a result of a third successive home win under Xisco, who succeeded Vladimir Ivic as manager in December. However, the Hornets trail leaders Norwich by seven points after winning just twice away from home.

“This is a good moment for us because every time we play at home we take the points,” Xisco said. “I am very happy with the players but now we must start to win away. “We are going to work a lot on this and try our best to improve our results away from home. It is something everybody wants in this team.”

The Rotherham manager Paul Warne said his side were amazing as they drew a thrilling contest 3-3 with Stoke to mark his 200th game in charge. Rotherham twice let their lead slip in the second half as Stoke battled back to earn a point on a wet night in South Yorkshire. “I really enjoyed it and it’s sad the fans weren’t in,” Warne said. “Both sets of fans would have really enjoyed it. Both teams weren’t settling for a draw. I always ask the lads to leave everything out on the pitch and they did. I’ve no complaints.”

Play-off contenders Reading strengthened their top-six position with a comfortable 3-0 victory over 10-man Coventry. The home side went ahead in the 16th minute when top scorer Lucas Joâo slotted home his 17th goal of the season from close range. Andy Rinomhota made it 2-0 straight after half-time and John Swift added a third with a superb 72nd-minute free-kick. The Coventry centre-back Kyle McFadzean was sent off for his second yellow card for the foul that led to Swift’s goal.