Leeds United ended a three-match winless run in the Championship as Luke Ayling's early strike earned Marcelo Bielsa's side a 1-0 victory over Bristol City.

That moved Leeds back to just four points behind leaders West Brom, who were held 2-2 at home by Nottingham Forest after Matty Cash's late leveller for the visitors at the Hawthorns.

Third-placed Fulham were thumped 3-0 at home by bottom-of-the-table Barnsley, while Brentford nudged above Forest and into fourth place thanks to a 1-1 draw at Birmingham.

Preston, who sit sixth, suffered a 1-0 defeat at home to Millwall, further muddying the play-off picture in the English second tier.

Leeds emerge from a storm

With their promotion hopes hurt by recent defeats to Forest and Wigan, a midweek draw with Brentford offered Leeds some encouragement. They have made slumping after strong starts a familiar trait, yet Saturday's narrow success put their promotion push back on track.

Ayling, a former Bristol City player, drove home from eight yards in the 16th minute, his left-footed strike coming after the ball pinged around the penalty area.

In blustery conditions, Helder Costa should have scored a second for Leeds when he went around Daniel Bentley but allowed the City goalkeeper to get back to make a desperate save.

The conditions were far from helpful, with litter from the stands blowing across the pitch, but Leeds held strong to reignite their promotion push.

Baggies blow

West Brom and Forest played out an entertaining four-goal game in the early kick-off, but the Baggies' three-match winning run is over and that will give the likes of Leeds encouragement.

Callum Robinson fired West Brom ahead after 37 minutes, before Kyle Bartley's own goal levelled up the game by half-time. A second own goal, this time from Tobias Figueiredo, restored West Brom's lead and looked set to bring the hosts maximum points.

Yet a twist in the narrative arrived in the first minute of stoppage time, with Cash driving forward and cracking in a sublime leveller, a ferocious finish that arrowed across Sam Johnstone and into the far left corner.

 

Chasing pack step off the pace

Scott Parker saw his Fulham side flop against Barnsley, with Cauley Woodrow's double - the first a penalty - and Jacob Brown's fine strike giving the Tykes a stunning Craven Cottage win and a glimmer of hope in their attempt to beat the drop.

The goals came early at St Andrew's where Birmingham took a 13th-minute lead against Brentford through Lukas Jutkiewicz, with Ethan Pinnock grabbing an equaliser four minutes later.

Stoke led QPR 2-0 after 31 minutes at Loftus Road but crumbled to a 4-2 defeat, Bright Osayi-Samuel and Ilias Chair grabbing late goals for the London side. Ryan Tunnicliffe's strike gave Luton a 1-0 win at Middlesbrough, and Shaun Hutchinson headed Millwall to their victory at Preston.

Ten-man Owls humbled

Cardiff CIty drew 2-2 at home against Wigan, while Yakou Meite, George Puscas and Sam Baldock, with a stoppage-time penalty, netted as Reading romped home 3-0 at Sheffield Wednesday, who had Osaze Urhoghide sent off early in the second half.

John Buckley and Tosin Adarabioyo cracked in first-half goals at The Valley as Blackburn were 2-0 winners against Charlton, nudging Rovers closer to the play-off picture.

A 25-yard strike from Tom Lawrence gave Derby County the lead at home against Huddersfield, but it finished 1-1 at Pride Park after a surging run and smart finish from Harry Toffolo.

West Brom moved six points clear at the top of the Championship on a night where Fulham missed the chance to leapfrog Leeds United into second.

The Baggies had to come from behind to defeat Reading 2-1 at the Madejski Stadium on Wednesday, while Fulham settled for a 1-1 draw at Millwall that keeps them third.

Bristol City and Preston were also victors to boost their top-six hopes, while Cardiff City won comfortably at Huddersfield Town to sit four points adrift of the promotion spots.

At the bottom of the table, Luton Town defeated out-of-form Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 to haul themselves off the foot of the table.


BAGGIES BOINGING TOWARDS PROMOTION, FULHAM HELD

West Brom made hard work of it after Kyle Bartley's handball in the area was followed by George Puscas putting Reading in front from the penalty spot.

But Matheus Pereira levelled on the rebound having seen his 26th-minute volley saved and Bartley went from zero-to-hero with a looping header shortly after Callum Robinson hit the crossbar.

Fulham had the chance to overtake Leeds, held by Brentford on Tuesday, and things looked promising when Aleksandar Mitrovic met Joe Bryan's curling delivery on the slide after three minutes.

Jon Dadi Bodvarsson poked home the equaliser for Millwall four minutes later despite seemingly being offside and Fulham were handed a reprieve when Jed Wallace whacked a 12th-minute penalty against the bar.


PRESTON, ROBINS IN THE HUNT

Bristol City nervily held on to beat Derby County 3-2 having raced into a three-goal lead after 58 minutes.

Nahki Wells and Filip Benkovic scored their first goals for the Robins and Famara Diedhiou extended the lead in the second half.

Martyn Waghorn and Chris Martin reduced the arrears, but Derby's comeback proved too little too late at Ashton Gate.

It was a more straight-forward evening for Preston, above Bristol City on goal difference alone, as Alan Browne and Tom Barkhuizen earned a 2-0 win at Stoke City, who are just four points above the drop.


HATTERS PILE MISERY ON MONK

Wednesday lost for the sixth time in nine Championship outings as Luton earned a huge win in their relegation dogfight.

The Owls conceded a penalty after just 15 seconds only for James Collins to fire his spot-kick against the crossbar.

But lax defending from Dominic Iorfa allowed Collins to make up for that miss as he added the finishing touch into an unguarded goal from Harry Cornick's lay-off in the 23rd minute to sink the sorry Owls.

Huddersfield remain in trouble after being turned over 3-0 at home by Cardiff, who remain in the play-offs hunt.

Josh Murphy, Will Vaulks and Callum Paterson were all on target for the Bluebirds.

Fulham moved just one point behind Championship leaders West Bromwich Albion after securing back-to-back victories with a 1-0 win over Blackburn Rovers.

Fellow promotion hopefuls Nottingham Forest are just one point further back in fourth after they condemned Leeds United to a second straight defeat.

In-form Brentford sit fifth after a thrilling win over Middlesbrough and Preston North End, who complete the top six, won 2-1 at Wigan Athletic.

Elsewhere there were victories for Huddersfield Town, Derby County, Cardiff City and Stoke City, while Barnsley drew 1-1 in their Yorkshire derby with Sheffield Wednesday and Reading were held by the same scoreline at home against Hull City.
 

CALAMITOUS CASILLA AT FAULT AS LEEDS LOSE AGAIN

Kiko Casilla made a crucial goalkeeping error for the second week running as Leeds slipped to third defeat in four Championship matches, losing 2-0 at Forest.

After conceding a soft goal in his side's 1-0 defeat at home to QPR a week earlier, Casilla allowed Sammy Ameobi to score with a near-post shot that the former Real Madrid man should have had covered.

Marcelo Bielsa's never recovered and failed to create the glut of chances that have typified their games this season, although Liam Cooper ought to have scored when presented with a free header from which Brice Samba made a one-handed save at the second attempt.

Having weathered some late Leeds pressure, Forest doubled their lead when the excellent Joe Lolley robbed Jack Harrison of possession and ran clean through on goal where he squared to Tyler Walker to score in the last minute of the game.

MITROVIC STRIKE EXTENDS FULHAM'S GOOD FORM

Aleksandar Mitrovic scored his 20th Championship goal of the season to earn Fulham the points at Ewood Park that made it four wins out of five in the league for the Cottagers.

Blackburn went into the game undefeated at home since September but were lucky to go in goalless at the break after Bradley Johnson almost turned Joe Bryan's cross into his own net, but Rovers goalkeeper Christian Walton scrambled across to clear the danger.

Fulham kept the pressure on in the second half and Walton made a diving, one-handed save from a Tom Cairney shot 11 minutes after the restart.

There was nothing Walton could do to as Mitrovic latched onto Bryan's cut-back and fired a low shot into the corner of the net from 12 yards to became the first player to reach 20 goals across the top four tiers of English football in 2019-20.

 

WATKINS WINNER KEEPS GRIFFIN PARK BUZZING

Ollie Watkins followed hot on the heels of Mitrovic with his 20th Championship goal of the season and his strike clinched a dramatic 3-2 victory for Brentford over Middlesbrough.

He struck late to settle matters after Boro had twice come from behind to run the Bees close, with Thomas Frank's side hosting Leeds on Tuesday. 

Derby won by the same scoreline at Swansea City, Tom Lawrence proving to be the hero for Phillip Cocu's men. 

Phillip Cocu said Wayne Rooney will be ready for his reunion with former club Manchester United after Derby County earned a FA Cup tie against the Premier League giants.

Derby captain and ex-United skipper Rooney, 34, converted a 77th-minute penalty as the Championship outfit defeated Northampton Town 4-2 in Tuesday's fourth-round replay.

Rooney – who left United in 2017 having arrived from Everton in 2004 – can now look ahead to a Pride Park clash against United, where the superstar became the Red Devils' record scorer with 253 goals.

At Derby as a player-coach since January following a two-season stint with MLS side DC United, Rooney is relishing the FA Cup date, according to Dutch head coach Cocu.

"He comes back from the States, joins us and now plays his old club where he had a great career... it's special ... I'm sure he will be ready," Cocu told reporters.

"It'll be a beautiful game not just for Wayne, but everyone at the club."

Cocu added via RamsTV: "It is a great game for us and that is why we are so happy to be in the fifth round. We knew if we beat Northampton that we would play Manchester United here at Pride Park. It is a great game for the team, the fans and the club. We are looking forward to it.

"For me, they are not only a name in world football. They have really great players, quality players in their team, they play really good football and dominate the games.

"Maybe in the league table everybody expects them to be higher up, but that doesn't mean that they play bad football. It is an extremely strong team, but we will do everything in our power to create a great atmosphere and a great game here at Pride Park."

The Derby-United match will take place in midweek between March 3 and 5, with no replays.

Wayne Rooney is poised to face his former club Manchester United after helping Derby County to a 4-2 victory over Northampton Town in their FA Cup fourth-round replay.

The winners of Tuesday's match at Pride Park secured a home tie against United in the fifth round, with the matches to take place in midweek between March 3 and 5, with no replays.

A reunion between Rooney and the team with whom he became a superstar will now go ahead, with the 34-year-old former England frontman netting a 77th-minute penalty in the win over League Two side Northampton.

After joining United from Everton in 2004, Rooney went on to become the club's record goalscorer, netting 253 times in 559 appearances.

Rooney left Old Trafford in 2017, returning to Everton, where he spent one season before moving to MLS side DC United.

Derby confirmed Rooney's signing last year, with the former England captain officially joining in January. He has scored three goals from eight appearances for the Rams in all competitions.

Wayne Rooney helped fire Derby County to a 4-0 Championship win on Friday to check Stoke City's resurgence under Michael O'Neill.

The Potters had claimed 10 of the previous 12 points available in league action under Northern Ireland manager O'Neill to kick clear of the relegation zone prior to the trip to Derby.

But Derby have been outstanding at Pride Park this term, losing just twice in the league, and a fourth straight home success was ultimately secured with ease.

Martyn Waghorn stooped to head in Craig Forsyth's cross after 21 minutes, and Chris Martin slammed high past Jack Butland from Duane Holmes' pass three minutes later.

Former England captain Rooney netted his first Derby goal in a defeat to Luton Town earlier in the week, but the 34-year-old made sure of victory this time with a delightful 20-yard free-kick midway through the second half.

There was time for the Rams to add further gloss to the scoreline, Rooney feeding substitute Jayden Bogle, who thrashed into the top-left corner.

Meanwhile, Friday's other Championship fixture saw Reading hold Cardiff City to a 1-1 draw in the sides' second of three meetings in 10 days.

Reading led through Yakou Meite after just eight minutes and protected their advantage until the 70th minute, as Callum Paterson rescued a point for hosts Cardiff.

Leeds United soared back to the top of the Championship as Patrick Bamford's double inspired a 3-2 victory over Millwall.

Marcelo Bielsa's side had trailed 2-0 early in the game at Elland Road but came roaring back to take the three points, while rivals West Brom tripped up 2-1 at Cardiff City.

Third-placed Nottingham Forest sit just two points adrift of struggling West Brom now, after edging out Brentford.

Wayne Rooney's first goal for Derby County, helped by a big deflection, gave Phillip Cocu's side the lead at Luton Town, but the former England captain finished on the losing side as the Hatters came back to score a 3-2 victory.

Blackburn were 2-1 victors against QPR, Huddersfield Town won 2-1 at Hull City, Bristol City recorded an away-day success at Reading, and lowly Wigan saw Jamal Lowe grab a stoppage-time winner to record a 2-1 triumph over Sheffield Wednesday.

 

BAMFORD THE HERO AS LEEDS RISE AGAIN

It would have been reasonable to ask if the wheels were coming off the Leeds bandwagon when they fell 2-0 behind against Millwall inside 23 minutes, as Shaun Hutchinson and Jed Wallace gave the visitors a dream start.

There have been worrying signs for Bielsa's Leeds in recent weeks but just as thoughts turned to their previous failures to capitalise on strong starts to league campaigns, the West Yorkshire side roused themselves.

Bamford began the recovery by striking from close range in the 48th minute, Pablo Hernandez cracked an equaliser just after the hour, and Bamford had Elland Road rocking when he stooped to head home Luke Ayling's cross to put the hosts ahead.

A 3-2 win, a long-standing rival sunk, a first win of 2020 secured. Crisis? What crisis?

NOW THIS IS A CRISIS: WEST BROM IN TURMOIL

Seven games without a win in the Championship for West Brom spells trouble - and the only saving grace is that they are still in the automatic promotion places.

Any hopes that the weekend win over West Ham in the FA Cup would prove a turning point were soon shattered at Cardiff.

Callum Paterson fired the Bluebirds ahead in the first minute of the second half, and despite Charlie Austin's penalty levelling up the match, Cardiff had the final say.

Lee Tomlin's free-kick was a sublime goal, curled over the West Brom wall and into the top left corner to clinch the points. Luton are next for West Brom, visiting the Hawthorns on Saturday.

 

FOREST EYE RETURN TO PROMISED LAND

It is worth remembering Nottingham Forest have not played Premier League football this century, having been relegated in 1999. Truth is, they have rarely looked like getting back, but maybe their time is approaching.

With the top two having looked suddenly vulnerable over recent weeks, Brentford and Forest have been among the teams making up ground at a rapid rate, which added spice to Tuesday's clash between the clubs.

Joe Lolley's strike made all the difference for Sabri Lamouchi's side, with the former Huddersfield player firing home with the help of a deflection in the 14th minute.

Forest last lost in the league at Huddersfield on December 21, their seven-game unbeaten run raising real hope in Nottingham of a return to the top flight for the former European Cup winners.

Derby County have confirmed they will contest the breach of spending rules they have been charged with by the English Football League (EFL).

The Championship club are accused of recording excess losses over a three-year period ending June 30, 2018.

However, Derby insist the charges – which relate to the £80million sale of their stadium Pride Park to the team's owner Mel Morris and the club's amortisation policy on player contracts – are unfounded.

According to a statement on Derby's official website, the EFL agreed to the sale of Pride Park and have not previously raised an issue over player amortisation.

"As a matter of law, the EFL is not entitled to bring either of the charges, having previously agreed to all of the arrangements surrounding the stadium sale and never having raised the issue of player amortisation before," the statement read.

"At all times, the club has acted transparently with the EFL and, in respect of the charges above, had received written approval for all of its submissions in respect of this legislation. No allegation has been raised to the contrary by the EFL. Rather, the EFL now claims that it made a 'mistake'.

"Had the EFL not given the green light in writing in respect of both charges, the club would have reacted accordingly. The club cannot re-trace the steps of the actions it legitimately took in good faith as a result of EFL approval of both matters.

"The EFL can choose to correct what they now see as an error in their decisions. However, it cannot punish the club for its own errors. The club shall therefore vigorously contest the charges and the EFL's legal right to bring them."

An independent disciplinary commission will hear representations from the EFL and Derby.

Last season, Derby's fellow Championship club Birmingham City were docked nine points following a similar charge from the EFL.

The Rams – who last year secured the signing of former Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney – sit 10 points above the relegation zone.

Wayne Rooney inspired Derby County to a 2-1 win over Barnsley on his debut for the Championship club.

The 34-year-old, who is England and Manchester United's record goalscorer, made his long-awaited maiden outing for the Rams having agreed to join as a player-coach back in August.

Phillip Cocu's side were evidently buoyed by Rooney's presence as the five-time Premier League winner pulled the strings at Pride Park.

Rooney laid on the opener for Jack Marriott on the stroke of half-time, delivering a fine free-kick from the left that only needed a helping touch in the right direction.

Substitute Elliot Simoes levelled for struggling Barnsley five minutes into the second half but Rooney was involved again as Derby reclaimed the lead.

His cross-field pass found Andre Wisdom, who then picked out Martyn Waghorn to sweep home the winner.

It was Derby's second win on the bounce, with Cocu's men having overcome a Charlton Athletic side who endured mixed fortunes on Thursday.

Having earlier been taken over by East Street Investments, bringing an end to the controversial reign of Roland Duchatelet, the Addicks fell to a 1-0 loss against Swansea City.

Yan Dhanda's 14th-minute goal settled matters as the Swans climbed to sixth in a fiercely competitive table.

Wayne Rooney will captain Derby County on his Rams debut after being named in their starting XI for Thursday's Championship clash at home to Barnsley.

Rooney's return to English football comes after the former Three Lions skipper ended his spell playing for MLS side DC United.

Manchester United and England's all-time leading goalscorer has been handed the armband after being included in the Derby team by his new boss Phillip Cocu.

Ex-Everton forward Rooney signed for Derby last August and has been training with the Rams since his contract with DC came to an end when they missed out on the 2019 play-offs.

Derby beat Charlton Athletic 2-1 at Pride Park on Monday to end a poor run of seven Championship games without a win.

The Rams are 17th in the table and will be hoping Rooney, who is also a coach on Cocu's backroom staff, can inspire a rise up the league.

Teenager Jason Knight scored twice to end 10-man Derby County's seven-game winless run with a 2-1 victory over Charlton Athletic in the final match before the start of Wayne Rooney's Rams playing career.

Player-coach Rooney is in line to debut against Barnsley this week, formally completing a January transfer from DC United, but his new side had largely struggled in the Championship in his absence until Monday's improved display at Pride Park.

It was a player 16 years Rooney's junior who made the difference with his first senior goals, the opener a brave, stooping header after just 10 minutes.

The hosts were dealt a blow when ex-Charlton loanee Krystian Bielik was shown a straight red card for an awful, late lunge on Conor Gallagher, but the 10 men remained in control and Knight steered in a clinical left-footed finish with 13 minutes remaining.

Although Lyle Taylor coolly dispatched a penalty for Charlton to set up a nervy finish, Derby held on through eight minutes of stoppage time for a precious win.

West Brom and Leeds remain separated by three points in the Championship's automatic promotion places after each being held to draws on Boxing Day.

Leeds needed an 89th-minute equaliser from Stuart Dallas to earn a 1-1 draw at home to fellow promotion hopefuls Preston North End, while West Brom conceded in the 90th minute to share the same scoreline with Barnsley.

Brentford, 3-1 victors over Swansea City, were the only winners in the top six as Fulham came from behind three times in a thrilling 3-3 draw at Luton Town and Sheffield Wednesday conceded twice in stoppage time to lose 3-2 at Stoke City.

There was also late drama at Wigan Athletic, with Derby County's Martyn Waghorn snatching a 1-1 draw against the division's bottom side.

 

THREE DRAWS OUT OF FOUR FOR BAGGIES

Filip Krovinovic capitalised on a poor clearance from Barnsley goalkeeper Samuel Sahin-Radlinger to give West Brom a fifth-minute lead at Oakwell but Aapo Halme converted Conor Chaplin's cross from close range to earn a point.

West Brom extended their unbeaten run to 14 matches – the longest sequence since 1901-02.

Any designs Leeds had on trimming the gap at the top were compromised by Alan Browne giving Preston the lead midway through the first half at Elland Road.

Mounting second-half pressure finally told but after winning seven consecutive games from the start of November, Marcelo Bielsa's men are now winless in three.

Brentford are eight points further back in third, with Ollie Watkins helping himself to a brace in their fifth successive victory at Griffin Park.

DRAMA AT THE BOTTOM

Along with Barnsley, all of the bottom four claimed positive results – most notably Stoke.

James McClean gave Michael O'Neill's Stoke an early lead but Morgan Fox and Tom Lees converted second-half corners to suggest further misery for the Potters.

Tyrese Campbell had other ideas, however, netting an acrobatic volley before Sam Vokes scrambled home in the 97th minute to lift Stoke off the foot of the table.

Waghorn scored Derby's first goal in seven Championship away games to cancel out Joe Garner's opener and leave Wigan bottom.

Fulham are fifth and one of three teams on 39 points after a remarkable contest at Kenilworth Road, where Bobby Decordova-Reid's second of the game in the fourth minute of injury time ensured a share of the spoils.

BONNE ENDS CHARLTON'S VICTORY WAIT

Macauley Bonne hit a brace and set up Alfie Doughty's winner as Charlton Athletic overcame Bristol City 3-2 – their first victory in 12 games.

Middlesbrough and Reading were two other teams moving clear of trouble thanks to respective 1-0 wins at home to Huddersfield Town and Queens Park Rangers.

Blackburn Rovers were unable to close on Preston in the final play-off spot as they shared a 1-1 draw with Birmingham City, while Cardiff City and Millwall did likewise to remain on 34 points apiece.

Lewis Grabban scored both goals in Nottingham Forest's 2-0 victory at Hull City.

Josh Onomah scored the winner as Fulham boosted their hopes of making a push for automatic promotion in the second half of the Championship season with a 2-1 victory over second-placed Leeds United at Craven Cottage.

On a day when leaders West Brom were held to a 1-1 draw by Brentford, Fulham ended a three-match losing streak and moved back up to third, nine points behind Leeds, courtesy of their triumph.

Scott Parker's men could be overtaken by Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday if the Owls beat Bristol City, but victory over high-flying Leeds nevertheless represents a significant boost.

At the other end of the table, Barnsley climbed off the bottom with a first away win of the season, thanks to a 94th-minute winner from Patrick Schmidt at Millwall, while Derby County's disappointing campaign continued as they had Scott Malone sent off after four minutes and conceded two penalties in a 3-0 defeat at Reading.

 

TOP TWO DROP POINTS BUT STILL CLEAR AT CHRISTMAS

West Brom and Leeds may have both dropped points on Saturday, but they remain firmly on course to finish as the top two.

The table-topping Baggies are three points clear of Leeds and 12 ahead of Fulham after Darnell Furlong took just three minutes to cancel out Henrik Dalsgaard's opener for Brentford at The Hawthorns.

Aleksandar Mitrovic was predictably prominent in Fulham's victory. The Championship's top scorer converted an early penalty before Patrick Bamford pulled Leeds level. Onomah's decisive goal then came on the rebound after an attempted overhead kick from Mitrovic had been blocked. 

Preston North End sit fourth after drawing 0-0 at Cardiff City in the day's early kick-off.

 

BARNSLEY REVIVAL CONTINUES

After beating QPR 5-3 last weekend, Barnsley made it back-to-back wins thanks to Schmidt's injury-time header at Millwall. 

The Yorkshire club have leapfrogged Stoke City and Wigan Athletic at the foot of the table, although the latter could jump from 24th to 21st by beating Blackburn Rovers on Monday.

 

NO MALONE AT CHRISTMAS! RAMS SCUPPERED BY SCOTT'S EARLY RED

Derby have not won away since the opening week of the season and their hopes of ending that dismal run were swiftly dented at Reading when Malone was dismissed for bringing down Yakou Meite as the last man inside four minutes.

Charlie Adam converted the penalty, Lucas Joao added a second for Reading after the break and Meite converted a late penalty of his own on a miserable day for the Rams, who sit seven points above the bottom three in 17th.

Elsewhere, Swansea City snuck into the top six with a 1-0 win at Luton Town, Hull City thumped Birmingham City 3-0 and Huddersfield Town beat slumping Nottingham Forest 2-1 in a contest that saw managers Danny Cowley and Sabri Lamouchi involved in a furious confrontation. Naby Sarr's 95th-minute goal rescued a 2-2 draw for Charlton Athletic at QPR.

Wayne Rooney claims he is still good enough to play in the Premier League as the former England striker prepares to take up a player-coach role with Derby County. 

Rooney scored 208 goals in the English top flight during two spells with boyhood club Everton either side of his time at Manchester United, where he became the club's top scorer.

He joins a Rams side siting 16th in the second tier, but Rooney believes he can still cut in the top division.

"I still felt I could do it when I was at Everton, but other people made their decisions on that," said the 34-year-old, who watched Derby lose 1-0 to Millwall at Pride Park on Saturday

"Now my ambition is to get Derby back in the Premier League and hopefully play my part there for them.

"Ryan Giggs was able to play into his late thirties in the Premier League and Gareth Barry says he wants to do it at 40.

"Given the right team around me, then I could still play in the Premier League."

Rooney plans to go into management in the future, but believes he still has a lot to offer on the pitch if teams play to his strengths.

"It's important to understand football. It is not all about running round, it is about using your head to play the game," he explained.

"Sometimes that gets lost, because you don't score as many goals or whatever.

"The two teams I played for in the Premier League were Manchester United and Everton. I am at Derby now, and hopefully we can get there with them."

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