The Championship club were docked 12 points for going into administration last month and face a tough fight to stay in the division
Derby County’s off-field dramas have been talked about plenty this season.
Administration was the latest setback to hit the Rams, who have been blighted by one crisis after another over the past year.
But on the pitch there is more than enough reason for encouragement. Granted, the 12-point penalty that was imposed on them for entering administration is a huge blow.
But manager Wayne Rooney is of the belief his players can cope with the handicap and still stay up.
It would be a huge ask but so far his players have coped pretty well in the face of adversity.
Despite sitting bottom of the Championship table, remarkably they can boast the joint-best defence in the division.
Rooney’s side have shipped just eight goals in 11 league games so far. That is on a par with league leaders Bournemouth.
Saturday saw Derby add to their clean sheet tally – which now stands at five – with a hard-fought goalless draw at home to Swansea City.
Rooney, who recently spoke using an alternative league table as a motivational tool, praised his players for their determination in the face of so much adversity.
He said: “The players are showing attitude, spirit and enthusiasm.
“It is good that this game has happened, on another day we could have got frustrated and lost our discipline, but with everything that has gone I think for the lads to keep their concentration, stay in the game and stick to what we were trying to do, was good.
“Overall I am pleased with the point because I think if this was last season we might have caved in.”
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When quizzed on whether he believes they can get out of trouble, against all odds, he remains adamant they can.
“Yes, we can,” said the former England and Manchester United star.
“We are not too far away from getting out of the relegation zone as it is and so that is a realistic challenge for us.
“When I came into this job we were on something like six points, something like that, and we did well to stay up last season.
“We have got another challenge this season and I said if it is minus 12 points [which Derby have been hit with already] I am very confident we will stay up.
“We will have to see if anything else comes on top of that, but all we can do is keep going out and trying to pick up points.”
That latter comment was a reference to a potential further points deduction for a breach of financial rules, something the club are continuing to discuss with the EFL.
Derby’s next game following the international break sees them travel to Preston on October 16.