|Posted by Stuart Hughes on January 29, 2012 at 2:15 PM|
The 2-0 defeat against Hull City on Saturday was hugely disappointing in front of a 30,391 Pride Park crowd.
The Rams started well, applied pressure deep in Tigers territory, and won a string of corners. On the front foot as manager Nigel Clough is so fond of saying. Slick passing, good movement, it looked very promising … but fifteen minutes in, about the time the plane made its flyover pulling the banner designed to taunt Nottingham Forest fans, the game changed.
Theo Robinson pulled up with a recurrence of his hamstring injury and was replaced by Chris Maguire. Maguire would go on to have the only Rams goal attempt of note I can remember all game, an acrobatic overhead kick when we were already 2-0 down but otherwise Maguire, and virtually whole side except for Jamie Ward offered very little.
Suddenly the Rams couldn’t pass, couldn’t beat the first defender with their crosses, and lost the ability to run into space. I just don’t get it. How can a team play so well for 10 minutes and then so poorly for the remaining 80 minutes.
When we didn’t have the ball we were even worse. There was no closing down, no tackling, and Hull City players were allowed to run with the ball at will. Both Tigers goals came because players were allowed to run and run unchecked – first Liam Rosenior to set up Matty Fryatt and then Cameron Stewart to score on his own.
A big crowd and a disappointed crowd. Those Rams fans without season tickets won’t be in any hurry to return.
Rams Star Man. Jamie Ward was the exception to the rule today. He never stopped working, never stopped running and at times almost single-handedly tried to get the Rams on the front foot. He played up front, but had to go looking for the ball in midfield and out wide. He tackled, fought for the ball, and even provided cover for the rusty John Brayford at right-back.
Referee Watch. An unfussy performance by Darren Deadman who went largely unnoticed for the majority of the game. Had a tendency to blow up too quickly instead of waiting to see if there was an advantage but otherwise a very competent and low profile performance.
Published in the Derby Telegraph on Monday 21st November 2011.