Manager-less Huddersfield Town were the visitors at Pride Park today. It was a convincing win for an unchanged Derby side, who, as a result, propelled up to 9th in the league, within 6 points of the league’s play-offs.
Craig Bryson, Jamie Ward and Richard Keogh were on target for the Rams. A neat Paul Coutts cross aided Bryson’s simple finish, that goal came on just under the 20 minute mark. That goal gave Derby more confidence to push on, which they did on 33 minutes through a delightful goal by Nigel Clough’s number 10 – this time Roberts was the provider. To finish off the scoring, Richard Keogh expertly headed home a swinging Jamie Ward cross just before the hour mark.
Thoughts on the game:
It was a comfortable and very deserving win for Derby, who looked a totally different side to the error littered team that lost to Blackburn Rovers in last week’s FA Cup tie.
Conor Sammon has received more than his fair share of stick from supporters since signing, a lot of it is often totally undeserved. Today he once again put in a shift, put himself about and made it difficult for the Terriers’ defence. A goal would have really completed his performance today. A striker’s role isn’t just about scoring goals though, there’s no question that Sammon isn’t all about putting the ball in the net – his play benefits the team, he can turn provider and the likes of Jamie Ward will thrive on that.
Jeff Hendrick produced another good display today, proving exactly why he deserves his call-up to the senior Republic of Ireland squad. The central midfield looked more than at home in the middle of the park today, appearing very dominant over the Huddersfield midfield. The improvement that Hendrick has shown since earlier this season, when it’s fair to say he was no where near his best, has been phenomenal, huge credit must go to him. I wouldn’t be too surprised to see some big bidders for him in the summer if he keeps this up. Fellow midfielder Will Hughes improved considerably today, while Jamie Ward was another of the stand-out performers today and he managed to get himself amongst the goals.
Craig Bryson occupied a wide position again today. The Scotsman appears to have less effect from that position, as he did mostly today, but manager Nigel Clough has a dilemma on occupying Hendrick, Hughes and Bryson all in the same XI!
Anybody at the game will have realised what a poor side Huddersfield were. They struggled to string a few passes together, offered no forward threat and simply couldn’t create anything. They were possibly one of the poorest teams we’ve seen at Pride Park all season.
On a different note, Gareth Roberts’ slip, which got a big cheer from the home support was one of the game’s highlights and his shot, which came close to hitting the back of the net! Go Gareth!
The superb passing style was back today for Derby and everything just seemed to tick, with some very slick moves being created. The main question is, however, can that be taken on the road and occur in away games? Well, next week it’s a trip to south Yorkshire to take on Sheffield Wednesday.
Up the Rams!