It’s been a crazy season off the pitch for Derby County, with a transfer embargo, legal problems, financial worries and not least of all a 21 points deduction that left them with a mountain to climb to avoid relegation.

But Wayne Rooney has done some impressive things on the pitch with his side, which has featured 20 academy players since Rooney took over as manager. Trying to survive when you’ve had so many points deducted is always going to be a big ask, but doing so with a team of largely young and inexperienced players is another thing altogether.

One of the most impressive parts has been the positivity and the attitude of the squad to try and survive when the odds have been stacked so heavily against them. Knowing you have to go out there and play when there is such a huge points gap to overcome wouldn’t be easy, and Rooney deserves a lot of credit for developing the right mindset in his squad.

Nobody could question the commitment of Rooney to the club either, as he has even paid for training equipment and accommodation for away games out of his own pocket when the club has been struggling financially. It takes a special manager to do that.

This is why I will give him the credit that is needed, because he has done it the hard way and no one could say it is luck.

Derby are six points away from safety with eight games left to play this season, so it’s still going to be a huge ask but if Derby stay up it will go down as a legendary feat in Rooney’s first job as a manager. #mmlove