Today the Rams defeated Blackpool 4-1 at Pride Park. Goals came from Theo Robinson (12 and 54), John Brayford (31) and Conor Sammon (65). Thomas Ince scored from the spot (49) for the away side.
News emerged this morning that Seasiders boss Ian Holloway had agreed a move to Crystal Palace, it of course left us wondering how it would affect their team during the game, could their players be out to make their mark for a new manager or would the news disrupt their preparations and game plan. This news is clearly a factor in their awful performance.
On the other hand Derby produced one of their best performances this season, keeping the ball well and simply outclassing the opponents. This was a massive improvement on last week’s dismal display at Peterborough and a real team display that Rams fans can be very pleased with. In recent games it’s been evident that we’ve missed Jamie Ward and today certainly wasn’t that, the players created chances well and converted them.
Adam Legzdins continued in goal and again did nothing wrong. He came close to saving Tom Ince’s penalty in the second half and did what he had to.
John Brayford impressed at right-back and bagged his second Derby goal with a fine strike in the first half. The afternoon almost got even better for the former-Crewe defender when he charged forward and got himself in a good enough position to attempt to chip Pool ‘keeper Matt Gilks but unfortunately it went wide. Richard Keogh and James O’Connor didn’t have much to down in the heart of the defence but Keogh did concede a penalty with a handball, perhaps a little harsh. Gareth Roberts has been pretty consistent this campaign and he continued that today.
In midfield Nigel Clough set out with Paul Coutts, Craig Bryson, Jeff Hendrick and Will Hughes however that did change over the course of the 90 minutes. Coutts linked up with Brayford, like we’ve seen in plenty of matches this season. Bryson made some runs and played his usual box to box role, pulling the strings in the Derby County midfield. Jeff Hendrick and Will Hughes often seemed quite interchangeable with their roles, Hughes coming inside and Hendrick covering.
Nigel Clough opted to start Conor Sammon with Theo Robinson up front, the same pairing as last week which didn’t work too well. Sammon battled throughout, proving a handful for the Tangerine defence and maybe should have had a penalty in the second half but appeals were turned down. The former-Wigan man scored a tap in not long after the hour mark, just his second of the season. Theo Robinson scored two delightful goals, which makes his game difficult to fault.
Nathan Tyson, Kieron Freeman and Michael Jacobs were the three substitutes introduced by Derby. Tyson was given a long run out after being brought on to the pitch at 67 minutes, he looked quite bright. Another ex-Red came on, Kieron Freeman came on and battled, this was his first team debut. Michael Jacobs came on with five minutes of normal time left.
Next up is Barnsley on Tuesday night, a follow up to that performance and game please.