Derby 0-1 Middlesbrough
The Rams just weren’t good enough on the night. Boro deserved their three points, they got their goal & held firm.
As you’d expect, Patrick Bamford scored. He kept his cool in front of goal to score & no doubt relished that as a boyhood Forest fan. Bamford had the last laugh. Despite the pressure & fight from Albentosa & Keogh, he always looked a danger with his Boro colleagues going forward. And that was the difference – Derby didn’t really look convincing going forward.
In the midfield, Jamie Hanson was again a calm figure & didn’t look out of place. Craig Bryson starting was an interesting choice & it had been coming. The team didn’t really manage to get the ball down & play it with the usual style & conviction, although the players worked hard, Boro were a class above.
Again, with injuries impacting the side, Russell was down the middle. Was there not another way to go? Chris Martin, as the focal point of the attack, was missed immensely. He does the simple things of holding it up & bugging opposition defenders very well & is obviously much taller. When Albentosa went up front in the closing minutes, it seemed that finally headers were being won.
Is time running out? Can the players respond?