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'He's a manager's dream' - Knight captain again, as Rooney bags first win as permanent Derby boss

Elsewhere in the Championship tonight, James McClean popped up with an assist two minutes after coming off the Stoke bench.

Wayne Rooney and Jason Knight (file pic).
Wayne Rooney and Jason Knight (file pic).
Image: PA

Updated Jan 19th 2021, 10:23 PM

IRISH TEENAGER JASON Knight was captain once again as Wayne Rooney secured his first win as permanent Derby manager with a 1-0 victory over stumbling promotion chasers Bournemouth.

Krystian Bielik’s first-half strike proved the difference as the Rams moved out of the relegation places.

The Cherries lost further ground on the top two, dropping to fourth after Reading’s win over Coventry, having won just one of their last six league games.

Even the late introduction of Jack Wilshere, who agreed terms with the club until the end of the season on Monday, failed to inspire Jason Tindall’s side as they fell to a second successive defeat.

“He’s a manager’s dream,” Rooney said of 19-year-old Dubliner Knight, who took the armband for his first game in permanent charge against Rotherham at the weekend, afterwards.

He gives everything. He’s great for the younger and older lads to take note of, but I still want more from him. But in terms of what we’re trying to build, he deserves the armband, whether he’s 19 or 30.”

Elsewhere in the Championship tonight, James McClean helped Stoke City to a thrilling 3-3 draw with Rotherham. The Irish international — who was recently in hot water for an alleged Covid breach — was sprung from the bench in the 72nd minute, and two minutes later, he popped up with an assist to draw the Potter level on 3-3.

Paul Warne’s 200th game in the Rotherham hot-seat certainly proved to be a memorable one. The Millers’ boss must have gone through a rollercoaster of emotions in a topsy-turvy game in which Rotherham twice went ahead in the second half before being pegged back.

Angus MacDonald opened the scoring for Stoke — for whom Nathan Collins played the whole game — in the 14th minute, before Rotherham levelled through Matt Crooks.

The Millers dominated either side of half time and deservedly took a 51st-minute lead through Michael Smith. Stoke were clinical in their response and took their next chance after 62 minutes as Batth was found unmarked at the back post from Nick Powell’s centre.

And Rotherham — were left to rue a golden chance as  Powell levelled the game again after 75 minutes with a precise header from substitute McClean’s cross.

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stoke-city-v-leicester-city-emirates-fa-cup-third-round-bet365-stadium James McClean. Source: PA

Meanwile, Reading strengthened their promotion push with a comfortable 3-0 victory over 10-man Coventry. The Royals moved to within three points of the top two after stretching their unbeaten run to four matches.

Veljko Paunovic’s side went ahead in the 16th minute when top scorer Lucas Joao slotted home his 17th goal of the season from close range.

Andy Rinomhota made it 2-0 straight after half time and John Swift added a third with a superb 72nd-minute free-kick.

Coventry centre back Kyle McFadzean was sent off for his second yellow card for the foul that led to Swift’s goal.

Ex-Republic of Ireland U21 international Jordan Shipley was on the losing Coventry side tonight, playing 86 minutes.

Watford extended their impressive home record with a 1-0 win over Barnsley courtesy of Troy Deeney’s first-half penalty.

The Hornets moved up to third place in the Championship as a result of a 10th victory in 13 games so far at Vicarage Road. No club in the top four English divisions can boast as many home wins.

And there was a host of Irish interest in League One and Two tonight, with Dan Crowley making his Hull City debut after his recent move, and Joe Mason firing a first-half hat-trick in MK Dons 3-1 win over Fleetwood Town. 

Aidan O’Brien was on target for Sunderland, though they were beaten 2-1 on home soil by Plymouth, and Ronan Curtis also contributed an assist after coming on as a substitute in Portsmouth’s 4-0 victory over Wimbledon.

- With reporting from Emma Duffy

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