Derby Are Ticking Along Nicely
Come the end of the season, the game against Sheffield Wednesday will be quickly forgotten.
For two weeks running Derby took an early lead yet both times made victory far more difficult than it had to be.
That is what happens when teams are in transition though and Derby, whilst taking nine points from the last 15, are frustrating to watch.
They seem to be a side that struggle to manage a game when ahead. Never quite sure whether to stick or twist.
When at home, against ten men surrounded by a crowd that is notoriously edgy, it’s probably best to twist.
That being said, Derby did try for the second goal in the first half and had Tom Lawrence effort which rebounded off the post gone in then this may well have been a very different post. But it didn’t so here we are.
Wednesday made it difficult though, holding their shape and blocking off any space that Derby would have wanted. As frustrating as it is to watch games like this, it is hard to play against and credit should go to Wednesday for not caving in when it would have been easier to do so.
Derby needed to stretch the pitch here, make it as big as possible and exploit any space afforded to them. There needed to be more movement from the front as well and the confidence to be more direct to get at the opposition defence.
There’s a resilience being built however. The defence is beginning to look more solid and the partnership between Richard Keogh and Curtis Davies has developed well.
Andre Wisdom has responded to being dropped a few games back and has made the right back spot his own. Question marks still remain over the left back though. Craig Forsyth has struggled since his return to the side this season and whilst it was always going to take time to get back up to speed after two cruciate injuries, you do wonder whether he’ll reach the same level as a few seasons previous. I wonder whether a left back will be on Rowett’s shopping list come January.
As I’ve mentioned previously, this is a team that’s between teams. It’s part functional for what Rowett aims to achieve but it’s short of players to completely work as the manager wants.
Bluntly, Rowett’s two windows away from having exactly what he wants and until that time, results and performances will fluctuate. For the time being, it’s something we’ll have to get used to but progress is being made and it’s becoming clearer where Derby are heading.