On a lovely summers day The Rams failed to deliver in their final friendly ahead of the big kick off, with a mixture of youth and first team squad players lost to a pretty average League two Chesterfield side. Nigel Clough, when selecting the team, clearly had his mind on Tuesday’s Capital One Cup game with Scunthorpe.
Firstly here’s a bit of information on the trialists (who played today) Valentin Gjokaj, Danny Barrera and Roope Riski. Gjokaj, I’m sure you are already aware of, is a centre back who is close to signing a contract with the Rams. Danny Barrera was the number 8 for Derby, for those of you at the game. Barrera played in the reserve’s game at Belper on Tuesday and is a 22 year old attacking midfielder playing for the Atlanta Silverbacks in the North American Soccer League. Striker Riski wore the number 9 shirt for Derby today and arrived on trial at Moor Farm yesterday. The 20 year old Fin plays for Italian Serie A club Cesena.
The Rams lined up with midfielder Jeff Hendrick at centre back, he seemed to look out of place from the off. After around 20 minutes the Irish under-21 international fell awkwardly his right wrist and was stretchered off. We are yet to hear the full extent of the injury but he will undergo an x-ray.
The performance was quite poor in all and lacked any cutting edge or much creativity. The defence was re-shuffled a couple of times, looked shaky and was caught off guard time and time again . Adam Legzdins made a few good saves during the course of the game.
The Chesterfield goals involved defensive errors from the youthful Derby side. The first was a rebounded volley after an initial save by goalkeeper Adam Legzdins, Marc Richards was the man with the tidy volley for the Spireites. Scott Boden scored Chesterfield’s second on 74 minutes, a unchallenged header from a neat cross involving poor Rams defending. Jordan Bowery got the final goal for the North Derbyshire side, slotting the ball home leaving Derby’s ‘keeper Legzdins with no chance.
Transfer listed striker Steve Davies, on his return to action, scored nothing more than a consolation in the final minute. It was a nice run off the wing by Ward, played across goal, and Davies got the tap in from one yard out. Davies did play some of the first half at an unfamiliar position of left back. He looked a bit off it, but this was his first match action since April 28th having not been risked in any of The Rams previous friendlies and consider that all the other players have played in plenty of other pre-season games to sharpen up.
It’s difficult to pick any stand out performers for Derby as ,in fairness, it was a terrible performance. Jamie Ward was possibly the best Derby player, he looked a bit lively and tried to get involved in Derby’s attacks. I can’t say any of the trialists impressed me, Riski or Barrera didn’t really make an impact. Meanwhile, Gjokaj didn’t look as good as he had in other pre-season games. Adam Legzdins did okay for Derby, he made a few good saves. Ben Davies ,captaining the youthful side, played out of position in the second half and didn’t really get in the game.
In my opinion, the Derby team could have done with a few more first teamers in the right position! I understand that Clough needed to rest players for Tuesday’s game but maybe a sub appearance from one or two or some that aren’t likely to start Tuesday’s game in there to balance it a bit.
Derby County: Legzdins, Naylor, Gjokaj, Hendrick (Lelan 26), Hoganson (S Davies 26), B Davies, Bailey (Dales 67), Barrera (Richards 73), Ward, Doyle, Riski (Bennett 60). Subs not used: Morch.
I’m disgusted at the Derby fans chanting abuse at Steve Davies. People should respect his decision and support him while he’s still a Rams player. It’s not his fault his future hasn’t been resolved yet. Family is family, obviously very important. Get off his back, he doesn’t deserve this.