Wayne Rooney admitted that his side showed too much respect early on against Norwich City on Saturday afternoon.

The former Manchester United striker’s side fell to a 1-0 defeat over league leaders Norwich City as they slip ever closer to the bottom three with Rotherham United having four games in hand on the Rams.

Kieran Dowell struck the only goal of the game in the first half, the former Derby loanee struck his free-kick to pinpoint perfection with David Marshall routed to the spot.

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Derby did have chances of their own, Colin Kazim-Richards found himself through on goal but he slipped at the crucial time and Tim Krul managed to keep the ball out.

Teden Mengi then went close but Krul came to the rescue for Norwich again before Graeme Shinnie had a chance to equalise late on but he could only blaze his effort over the bar with the goal at his mercy.

It could be a game in which the Rams rue their missed chances should it become tight on the final day when they face off against Sheffield Wednesday.

Rotherham, howeve, couldn’t get through Huddersfield Town which keeps the Rams with a seven-point gap between themselves and Paul Warne’s side.

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Wayne Rooney was pleased with the performance and told the club media: “I thought we performed very well, especially second-half. It’s not the result we wanted, but we can take some encouragement.”

“We showed Norwich too much respect in the opening 20 minutes. Second-half, we got at them and caused them problems. We need to take care more with our final pass or final shot. I thought we deserved a point.”

“I thought he did very well. It was a tough game, but he stuck to his job and played really well. It’s a positive for us.”

The Rams have got tough games against the likes of Blackburn Rovers and Preston North End coming up and Rooney says his side need to take points from their upcoming games.

“There are a couple of big games coming up for us, and we have to take points regardless of our performance. We have to focus on getting more points, because we’re at a crucial time of the season.” Rooney said.

The Rams will travel to Blackburn next Saturday but will be sweating on midweek results from Rotherham who face Queens Park Rangers and Coventry City.

Did Derby County deserve something from their game today?