Wayne Rooney has likened Rovers’ approach to that of Norwich City as he looks to mastermind a win on the road that would boost Derby County's hopes of avoiding the drop.

The Rams put in an encouraging display against the league leaders last time out, but were edged out 1-0, and remain firmly in the relegation picture heading into tomorrow night’s game.

Rooney was on the pitch for Rovers’ 4-0 win at Pride Park in September, but has since taken over the managerial position, and is expecting a tough test, albeit acknowledging the poor form that Tony Mowbray’s side are in.

“We certainly need to better the results of the teams around us, ideally six points would be great, but it’s a game we know will be tough,” Rooney said, with a trip to Preston on Tuesday to follow.

“Blackburn are a good team, not in the best of form, but they’re a very good team, play a similar way to Norwich but maybe not with the same quality, but we know it’s going to be a tough game.

“Without doubt, there’s two or three teams above us who are right in the middle of it, like ourselves.

“For us, we have to focus on ourselves, big two games now and it would be start off with a win on Friday night.”

The incentive for Derby is to move within one point of Rovers, and dragging another team into the mix, before a trip to Preston on Tuesday, and then a home game with Birmingham City.

With no midweek fixtures, and this game brought forward to Friday night, Rooney hopes the extra training time afforded to his team could prove vital.

“It’s very important, it’s allowed us to work on the starting XI, we’ve done that, it’s important when you have to time to spend with the players to get your ideas across to the players,” he told his club’s website.

Derby were edged out by the league leaders last time out, Kieran Dowell scoring the only goal of the game midway through the first half. Rooney felt his side’s display warranted more however, believing there were positive signs to take into tomorrow night’s match.

“Everyone is saying the second half, the first half was just as good I thought, from a different point of view," he said.

“We set the team up to be hard to beat, to frustrate Norwich, and I thought we did that. They didn’t have many chances and that allowed us to be more expansive in the second half.

“Across the 90 minutes I thought we played well.”