The key quotes from Wayne Rooney's post-Fulham press conference
Photo by Getty Images/Clive Rose

A resilient defensive performance saw Derby County hold Championship leaders Fulham to a goalless draw under the lights at Craven Cottage on Wednesday.

The hosts played with the swagger characteristic of a side pushing promotion but lacked that decisive cutting edge as visiting goalkeeper Kelle Roos was impervious, while the Rams gave a good account of themselves and could have snatched victory.

Derby manager Wayne Rooney addressed the media after the match — here are his most noteworthy quotes.

On the match

Fulham certainly had the better of the play, but they didn't find it easy at all to break down a resilient Derby defensive unit — and the times they did managed to do so, they were might by another great obstacle in the shape of Roos.

As the match went on, the Rams grew ever more hopeful that they had weathered the worst of the storm and might be able to push for a late winner, however it wasn't to be as the spoils were shared at Craven Cottage.

"We created some good chances and on another day we might have nicked a win but a draw is probably a fair result," said Rooney. "We pushed to try and get the winner, we brought Ravel Morrison on for Craig Forsyth to try and get another attacking player on the pitch and push for the win, but unfortunately we didn't."

On mindset

Prior to kick-off, 41 points separated the sides (though Derby have actually only gained 20 fewer than Fulham so far this season) so, on paper, the Rams faced a mammoth task in getting a result here.

Nonetheless, Rooney's side approached the match diligently and relatively positively, visibly buoyed by their 3-2 victory over another promotion-chasing side, AFC Bournemouth, last time out.

In Derby's case, their league position is clearly misleading — and they only proved that further at Craven Cottage.

"I said to the players beforehand that it's important that we go into matches without fear and not thinking about the league position being false," said the manager. "We are a good team and we are capable of competing with any team in this division, I really believe that, but we have to work hard and that's one thing these players have done incredibly well throughout the season."

On looking ahead

Four points taken from two matches against the Championship's current frontrunners is an impressive return, but Rooney is keen for his side to avoid resting on their laurels and to keep putting in the effort that earned them these rewards in the first place.

"I think for our group of players, they work extremely hard and I could praise every single player tonight.

"Four points in the last two games is a good return, I feel, but it means nothing if we don't go back to Pride Park next Monday and get three points."