Wayne Rooney has done some incredible things in his career but saving Derby County from relegation would be the biggest, talkSPORT have been told.
The Rams have been deducted 21 points this season but, despite being bottom of the league, are now just 11 points adrift from safety.
If Rooney can achieve the improbable it would top being both England and Manchester United’s record goalscorer, according to former teammate Darren Bent.
Derby had two separate point deductions, the first 12 in September for entering administration and a further 9, after admitting to breaches of the EFL’s Profitability and Sustainability rules, came in November.
The punishment left the club in a dire position with relegation on the cards given they only managed 44 points last season.
However, legendary forward Wayne Rooney has refused to accept defeat and is miraculously pulling his team towards survival.
A string of incredible results – most recently coming back to draw 2-2 with Reading – Rooney’s Derby would now sit in 14th place if it were not for the deductions.
When asked by fellow talkSPORT Breakfast host Laura Woods whether Derby avoiding the drop would be the ‘greatest escape ever’, Bent responded by saying it’d be much more than that.
“Absolutely. 21 points? That is ridiculous,” he replied. “There would have been times where people go ‘nah, that’s them done’, but they are beating teams above them.
“They’ve done well against Fulham, Bournemouth, I mean they’ve beaten Stoke, and come back from 2-0 down against Reading.
“If Rooney manages to do this, it doesn’t matter what he goes on to do in his career, he could go on to win big trophies, major honours, this is the biggest thing he would have ever done.
“21 points is ridiculous and in the Championship as well by the way, which is relentless, if he does that with limited funds – unbelievable achievement”.
The fight shown by Derby’s players to rescue a point against the Royals – who have also faced a points deduction this campaign – and to have gone five games unbeaten has been cultivated by the coaching staff and senior players.
Speaking to White and Jordan following his vital last minute goal against Reading, Derby centre-back Curtis Davies said he believed his manager’s age had helped him build strong relationships within his squad.
He said: “The fact that I’ve played with Liam [Rosenior] and played against the gaffer [Rooney] a lot as well and they’re around my age, it’s a good balancing relationship between the management staff and the senior leadership group.
“It makes it easier to get the information, get it across to the young players, because you’re talking almost on a friend level rather than it being boss and player. I think that’s what’s helped us”.
But rather than let the off-pitch issues get them down, Davies insisted they were approash their battle in good spirits.
He adde: “We’re just trying to enjoy being out there playing, that’s what’s kept us going.
“Like I said, we’re all in it together, we know what we’re about and we’ll give it the best we can give to stay up”.