A crestfallen Wayne Rooney says he has mixed emotions about Derby County's relegation from the Championship following their 1-0 defeat to QPR at Loftus Road on Monday.
The Rams' fate was officially sealed by a late winner from Hoops midfielder Luke Amos, though in reality the club's perilous financial situation – which led to administration and a 'nail in the coffin' 12 point deduction – had been paving the way to League One since September.
Following the game, Derby boss Rooney admitted that it was a "strange feeling" to be relegated, but insisted he felt "proud" given all that he and his group of players had been through over the course of such a turbulent season. He also confirmed he wants to stay.
"Yeah, we’ve been relegated, but I’ve never seen a team get relegated and a reaction from fans like that, I thought it was incredible," Rooney told Sky Sports.
"I feel proud. It's a strange feeling because of everything we've been through as a group – the lads on the pitch, the staff, the fans. There have been many positives.
"The support the fans have given the lads all season [has been incredible]. Of course [I'm] disappointed, sad, upset. But proud [too]."
Can Rooney get Derby back up next season? Let us know what you think in the comments section.
Three years ago Derby were 90 minutes away from the Premier League after meeting Aston Villa in the Championship play-off final, but next season they'll be playing in England's third tier for the first time since the mid 1980s. My, how fortunes can change in a flash.
"In some ways we can draw a line under everything that's happened and try and move this club forward. That has to happen quick," a defiant Rooney added.
"A takeover has to happen … if it does I want to stay and re-build the club. If it doesn't I really fear for where the club will end up."
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