Wayne Rooney's Derby would be 11th in Championship without massive 21-point deduction from EFL

TOM LAWRENCE admitted Derby’s odds-defying win was ‘emotional’ after another bad week for the club.

But he has no idea whether the Rams squad will be able to stay together this month.

Lawrence grabbed two spectacular goals in nine minutes to stretch the crisis club’s unbeaten run to five games and lift them off the bottom  — despite battling a 21-point deduction.

Without that penalty, Derby would be 11th in the Championship.

But skipper Lawrence could be a transfer target with Derby — who are still under administration — needing to raise funds, with the situation now out of boss Wayne Rooney’s control and the prospect of the Rams being kicked out of the league mid-season.

Phil Jagielka and Graeme Shinnie reluctantly moved on in the build-up  when it was revealed a new owner would not be coming in — and the EFL wanted proof of funds until the end of the season.

But Derby still managed to produce a display which means their unlikely Championship survival bid is still on.

Lawrence, 28, said: “It’s been tough.  You feel very different things. You feel emotional because there are big players in this group  but I think we showed how professional we are.


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“If we could keep this group together then I think we could do something special — but I don’t know.

“It’s just a pleasure to play alongside those lads. They give 100 per cent no matter what and I’m just glad that we could put smiles on faces.”

Rooney knows who the administrators’  preferred buyer was going to be. But compensation claims from Middlesbrough and Wycombe regarding financial irregularities and points deductions respectively  mean new owners are not prepared to move in.

Rooney, who is one of the favourites for the vacant Everton job following Rafa Benitez's sacking, said: “That could go on and on — which I suppose is why the EFL are not getting involved in it.”

Jagielka, 39, joined Stoke at the weekend.

Rooney said: “Phil’s had clubs offering more money than what we could pay him but he wanted to stay here.

“I actually told him to turn down a club last week because I was led to believe we could sign him.

“Thankfully he’s got a club, I’d have felt a lot worse if he hadn’t. Phil knows it was out of my control.”

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