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Wayne Rooney's rousing relegation speech which inspired Derby to survive in the Championship has emerged.
The Manchester United legend went through a rollercoaster of emotions as his side pulled off an astonishing 3-3 draw against Sheffield Wednesday to stay up.
Rotherham had been sitting ahead of them against Cardiff until an 88th-minute conceded goal pegged them to a 1-1 draw, allowing the Midlands side to stay up by one point.
It was the first time in seven league games that the Three Lions' all-time top scorer had avoided defeat.
But Derby star Curtis Davis revealed how Rooney motivated his players with a rousing speech ahead of the relegation decider.
Speaking to BBC, the Rams defender said: “That side of it about Wayne and what he has achieved, you look up to him
“He said 'I have felt pressure throughout my whole career so this is another day for me. I believe in you, you should believe in yourself, so now go out there and win the game’.
"That's the biggest thing players need to hear. If a manager believes in you. We know it is in our hands playing against a team that is below us in the table to stay in the Championship.
"We have to back ourselves to win this game. Wayne has backed us and he is thriving at the opportunity to prove people wrong. Let's hope it is a good day and an exciting day for the football club."
Derby found themselves immediately on the back-foot with news from Wales as Lewis Wing drove a 30-yard shot into the bottom-left corner.
After a lengthy stoppage for injury, it was the additional minutes that put Rooney's side under pressure at half-time as Sam Hutchinson bundled a rebound into the net.
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The United hero, though, managed to rouse his side during the break as Martyn Waghorn found the net just four minutes after the restart.
And Patrick Roberts' curling effort from outside the penalty box gave Derby hope of a survival with a 2-1, sitting two points ahead of Rotherham at the time.
But seven minutes gave the home side a nightmare at Pride Park as Callum Paterson and Julian Borner struck for the visitors.
There was room for one more twist, though, as Kamil Jozwiak won a penalty with 12 minutes to go which Waghorn converted – just as Marlon Pack scored an equaliser for Cardiff in the 88th minutes.
At full-time, Derby survived the drop by one point as Wycombe Wanderers' 3-0 win at Middlesbrough pushed them to 22nd, with Rotherham finishing two points away and Wednesday at the bottom.
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- Wayne Rooney
- Derby County FC
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