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You've got to hand it to Roo, says Swans boss.

Byline: IAN MITCHELMORE Football Reporter ian.mitchelmore@walesonline.co.uk

Russell Martin believes Derby County have been galvanised by their 12-point deduction due to the leadership of head coach Wayne Rooney.

The Rams were penalised by the English Football League after entering administration in September and are now bidding to find a buyer for the club.

Despite the severe blow, the Pride Park outfit have remained strong on the pitch, with their 1-0 triumph over Reading on Wednesday night lifting them back into a positive points total after 10 matches of the campaign.

And ahead of his side's clash with Rooney's side, Swans boss Martin says Derby have responded perfectly to what have been hugely testing times.

""he league is so close and tight. Anyone can beat anyone," said the 35-year-old.

"I think they've done brilliantly considering the circumstances they've found themselves in. I've got a lot of admiration for the job that Wayne is doing there.

"Sometimes these circumstances can bring you together and give you something to really fight for. It seems that they've gone that way rather than feeling sorry for themselves.

""hey're not giving anything up, they are really fighting. It's along season and they're putting themselves right back in the mix. I think it's going to be a really tough game.

""hey've got a lot of experienced players that are definitely going to help them in this situation. They had a great result in midweek. The people that get affected the most are the people behind the scenes. People that really care about the club that have probably been there for along time.

"Often the ones that are the most secure are the players and the management staf. f. They have to try and find away to do the people justice.

"It's a really tough situation for any club to be in, especially a club of that size and stature. I don't know the ins and outs of it, but they seem to be dealing with it on the pitch and in terms of how they are together really well."

" Rhys Williams is expected to return to Swansea's matchday squad for the trip to Pride Park.The Liverpool loanee missed out on his side's Championship matches against Huddersfield Town and Fulham, although he took part in the pre-match warm-up against the latter.

Michael Obafemi and Ryan Bennett will be assessed ahead of the contest with Rooney's outfit, although Olivier Ntcham is set to miss out with a hamstring injury.

On Ntcham, Martin commented: "It's pretty much as we thought after the game. It's not going to be a longterm. He'll be back for the game after the international break. He'll probably have to miss this weekend, but we expect him to train pretty soon after that."

When asked about defender Bennett and striker Obafemi, Martin responded: "We'll see today if they're ready.

"If not we'll have to wait and be patient with them. If they miss tomorrow they'll be fully fit for the next one." Kick-of fis at 3pm today.

CAPTION(S):

Derby County boss Wayne Rooney has got his side working hard after the club's points deduction says Russell Martin (pictured inset)

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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:IAN MITCHELMORE Football Reporter ian.mitchelmore@walesonline.co.uk
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Oct 2, 2021
Words:522
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