|Ipswich Town 1 v 1 Derby County|
Wednesday, 13th February 2019 Kick-off 19:45
Let’s Show the Tractor Boys How to Plough a Field - Notes for Derby County
Tuesday, 12th Feb 2019 11:30 by HarryFromBath
HarryFromBath assesses the mood in the opposition camp ahead of Wednesday night’s game at Portman Road by delving into their forums.
“A form team vanquished. The best performance in weeks, maybe months”, “That Hull victory was a display by a team who are challenging to go up and not from the side which were putting in the half-baked performances we have watched recently”, “A win at Ipswich and we will be firmly in the mix.”
The Rams arrive in Suffolk seventh in the Championship table and only outside the top six by virtue of a marginally inferior goal difference to Bristol City. A five-game unbeaten run and a good win over an in-form Hull team on Saturday have given fans hope that they are hitting form at the right time.
“I don’t think it’s possible for us to flop like last season. Was it 17 points from the last 15 games?” “It is all about staying in contention. There is always a side which falters going into the last two months of the season and before you say ‘Derby’, I do believe lightning won’t keep striking on us this time.”
“We have been grinding out results but are inconsistent. I wouldn’t put it past us to go from beating Hull comfortably to then having a real stinker against Ipswich in the very next game”, “We might win at Ipswich, but every time we go away from home we are worrying if it will be another horror show.”
“Watch out, we are coming”, “We could finish first or ninth, or anything in between. It’s going to be a very tight finish”, “We’re a way off the top two but there’s every reason to believe we can get in and stay in the top six”, “We are outsiders in this race and I would take a play-off place right now.”
“Frank, you have got a lot to do, best of luck!”, “I can’t work out if he has what it takes or if external forces are beyond his control. He is doing well within his working boundaries but that said he hasn’t made all the correct calls”, “He has lots to learn given his strange selections and substitutions lately.”
The 40-year-old was appointed to his first managerial role with the Rams in May and has impressed fans with the way he has tried to develop a stylish brand of attacking pass-and-move football. Many Derby feel that he is still learning the job but are happy with his work in his first season in charge.
“Frank is too naïve in his defensive structure and he doesn’t quite understand the roles of players in balancing the team yet, in particular the importance of having strength and composure in the side. He has a great philosophy of how to play, but he has not really shown that he can implement it yet.”
“Frank still faffs around with team selections. The only area he hasn’t continually meddled with is at centre-half”, “I’m not sure if he is looking for a holy grail of combinations which will never exist and waste the rest of the season doing so”, “He is doing well but he certainly still has his ‘L’ plates on.”
“Does Frank understand that Premier League football can’t work at Championship level?”, “I suspect he would do well with better players who can do the things he found easy”, “He’s trying to get us to play like his old Chelsea side, but the players at this level mostly can’t do it on a regular basis.”
“We played proper football against Hull, on the deck with creativity and movement”, “We didn’t blow the doors off but were in control for the whole game with pretty much everyone playing well”, “The Preston game was a complete contrast with players incapable linking with their colleagues.”
The last two league games, a 2-0 win at home to Hull and a 0-0 at Preston eight days earlier, typified an inconsistency which has been the hallmark of Derby’s season. Injuries have hit the balance of the team, especially in central midfield, with players redeployed to other positions or simply unavailable.
“When we play against a footballing team, they play around us too easily. We don’t hunt them in packs to get the ball back and when we do, we’re not technically gifted enough to hold on to it and counter. We head it aimlessly into the air or boot it. The passes are not measured or directed at all.”
“Gone is the neat, swift interchanging of the early season”, “We are just incapable of making simple passes to team-mates. What is wrong with us?” Rams believe they can mount a promotion charge if they can rediscover their rhythm. “We don’t win second balls and the midfield can’t get hold of it.”
The starting XI against Hull (above) was set out in Lampard’s preferred 4-3-3 formation. Rams were happy to see Tom Huddlestone in the holding role and Martyn Waghorn playing as a central striker. Right-back Jayden Bogle’s return from suspension allowed Harry Wilson to return to a wider role.
The contrast with the starting line-up at Preston (above) is worth analysing. Bogle’s suspension saw midfielder Duane Holmes move to right-back, while George Evans is a more mobile but much poorer passer of the ball than Huddlestone and many Rams at the game felt that this affected their rhythm.
The attacking trio was far less effective at Preston. Tom Lawrence has been heavily criticised for his inability to link with colleagues while Waghorn is less threatening in a wider role. The choice of David Nugent in a starting role against his former club was also panned as he is a shadow of his former self.
“Three clean sheets in a row”, “If we lose either centre-half to injury or suspension, we have had it.”
Keeper Kelle Roos stepped in after Scott Carson was injured and kept his place. Fans have praised his calm authority, and he and centre-backs Richard Keogh and Fiyako Tomori are seen as a good unit.
Teenage right-back Bogle is seen as an intelligent defender, while left-back Scott Malone’s defensive work against Hull was markedly improved on recent displays. Veteran left-back Ashley Cole joined on a short-term deal in January and made a cameo appearance in Saturday’s win over the Tigers.
“Midfield is the issue”, “I have been saying it for a while, our problem is in midfield. We are far too lightweight and get overrun time and again. We get dominated and have no control in that area”, “We don’t cope very well with pressing. We find it difficult to keep the ball and relieve pressure.”
“My gripe is still with the lack of creativity in the middle of the park. The best balance in midfield is Tom Huddlestone’s passing, Andy King’s energy and Harry Wilson’s creativity.” With Mason Mount injured, King signed on loan from Leicester in January and impressed fans in his cameo against Hull.
“We are simply unable to deal with width. It has been an issue most times I have watched us”, “It’s very poor defensive work to allow so many balls consistently into the box as we do”, “If your wingers and wide midfielders don’t support their full-backs, you’re not going to be able to deal with width.”
Harry Wilson is seen as the most threatening winger with a lethal long-range shot. Tom Lawrence in contrast is viewed as selfish and the worst offender at not supporting his left-back. Florian Jozefzoon has struggled for consistency with the ball while Mason Bennett is seen as a lively bench option.
“I have lost count of the number of times we have found ourselves with the ball outside the box with five players stood on the edge of the area. We end up taking long shots every time.” Jack Marriott is seen as the team’s best finisher but the striker has missed last two games through illness and injury.
Derby 2 – 0 Hull
“Turned out nice, didn’t it?”, “That was a proper 90-minute performance that has been a long time coming”, “An excellent win in a difficult-looking game beforehand”, “It was a very patient display up against Hull’s constant pressing. We played through them quite well and created a lot of chances.”
“We were competent, very professional and resoundingly deserved to win.” Martyn Waghorn put the Rams ahead on 41 minutes with his 100th career goal, volleying in after his initial shot was saved by Hull keeper David Marshall. He added a second with a clinical finish on 71 to seal a worthy win.
“There was better movement from the players and we were much stronger on the ball. Our passing was more incisive and purposeful and there was less lumping the ball”, “We were solid and calm but not rampant”, “The performance wasn’t quite the full shilling, but we looked good all over the park.”
Preston 0 – 0 Derby
“Tonight’s game was worrying. Preston are not a top Championship side and we made them look good”, “It was very reminiscent of performances last season under Gary Rowett. Thank God we’re not seeing that week-in week-out, but with the players who were available it was a good result.”
Harry Wilson twice hit the woodwork and Derby hung on for a hard-fought goalless draw. Preston dominated after the break, but their best chance to claim all three points saw Paul Gallagher denied by Kelle Roos before Brad Potts and Darnell Fisher had successive efforts on the rebound blocked.
“Welcome to the Alamo!” Alarm bells sounded as the Lilywhites launched a full-scale offensive after the break. “We are getting battered here, it’s properly ridiculous to watch”, “I have not enjoyed this at all, it’s stressful to watch. If Preston had a finisher, we would be in big trouble”, “We didn’t lose.”
With Preston rampant down the flanks after the interval, Lampard withdrew Waghorn and Nugent, introducing Mason Bennett and Andre Wisdom, and switching to a wing-back shape (above) in order to contain the Lilywhites. “Just to make sure, we all knew this was going to be a very tricky game?”
Accrington 0 – 1 Derby (FA Cup Fourth Round)
“A great result. It’s always dodgy playing a team below you at their place”, “We made hard work of it and lost the ball too often when we should have kept possession”, “I thought it had everything you want from the FA Cup. You want to see this type of game”, “It was a good old-fashioned FA Cup tie.”
Martyn Waghorn’s close range finish on 78 minutes was enough to win this tie for Derby. Stanley’s midfielder Daniel Barlaser had earlier been sent off on 59 for two bookings. The Rams also finished with 10 men after defender Jayden Bogle received a straight red card in second-half stoppage-time.
“We never make it easy, do we?” Lampard named a strong XI (above) for this game although Mason Mount limped off on 37 with a hamstring injury. “Our midfield lacked a physical presence, but it was a trip to the good old days”, “The game was an outlier, we won’t face these conditions very often.”
Goalkeepers and Defenders
“Kelle Roos has not had much to do in his games but has done nothing wrong. It would be very harsh to drop him if Scott Carson is fit.” The Dutch 26-year-old former Nuneaton keeper joined the club in 2014 and has had loan spells at Wimbledon and Bristol Rovers. “It was Preston vs Roos at times.”
Kelle Roos (Derby County)
“Roos looks calm and he is good on crosses”, “He has a real spring in his step, almost comically so. He is more commanding than Carson and is cool on the ball, which puts us on the front foot more”, “He’s sharp and his passing is good. It helps a defender knowing that his keeper comes for corners.”
“Scott Carson might struggle to get back in the team.” The 33-year-old ex-Wigan man and England international “is a vastly more experienced keeper than Roos but his form has been poor this season. We would have panicked a few weeks ago if he wasn’t playing but there’s no clamour for his return.”
“Jayden Bogle struggled with Kamil Grosicki’s pace against Hull but didn’t do too much wrong. He is very good going forward.” The 18-year-old right-back and former Swindon and Derby youth product “has let in far too many crosses in, but he was composed and excellent defensively against Hull”.
“Bogle is extremely competent on the ball. He’s far more agile and is quicker and better on the ball than Andre Wisdom. That’s what you need in Lampard’s system”, “His red card at Accrington was so intelligent and mature for such a young player, timing the foul before reaching the penalty area.”
“Andre Wisdom has the strength that Bogle lacks and is one of the best tacklers I have seen at the club. He can genuinely take the ball away from a man and come away with in in control. The 25-year-old ex-Liverpool right-back has been recovering from a groin injury. “On his day he’s a great battler.”
“Wisdom has been pretty decent without hitting the heights of his previous loan spell at the club. He has looked very short of confidence”, “He has the pace and skill to play as a more attacking full-back but he isn’t moving the ball fast enough to suit Lampard’s style. A good player, but not right for us.”
“Scott Malone worked hard and did well going forward against Hull.” The 27-year-old left-back came from Huddersfield in August. “I get that his defending is very questionable at times but his pace and engine are such a huge asset towards the end of games. He can be a very potent attacking weapon.”
“Wherefore art thou, Malone?”, “Why is he never near his man?” “Defensively he is the worst left-back I have seen here, he’s a left-sided midfielder”, “He gives his winger too much space to cross all game and never crosses when he should”, “He can’t defend and he has no awareness whatsoever.”
“Fiyako Tomori isn’t the finished article by a long shot but Chelsea do have a great prospect on their hands.” The 21-year-old Chelsea loanee played on loan at Hull last season. “He reminds me of David Luiz at centre-back, prone to lapses of concentration but quick and so good technically on the ball.”
“Tomori has pace, he can tackle and he has the vision and passing range to play in front of the back four”, “He’s a wonderful defender. His ability on the ball is superb and he’s quick. He’s not always the best in the air and lets his man get on the wrong side of him but has the pace to recover from it.”
“Keogh was outstanding at Preston.” The 32-year-old ex-Coventry man “is our captain and leader. He gave a performance to make us all say ‘thank God we have him’”, “He reads the game well and he is so professional”, “There aren’t many better affordable ball-playing centre-halves at this level.”
Harrison v Keogh
“I love how Keogh puts his body on the line for us and never hides if he’s having an off game”, “His frenetic style of defending makes those around him a pit panicky too”, “He makes such great runs and passes out from the back line, and he always takes responsibility and drives us up the pitch.”
“Andy King looked class when he came on against Hull.” The 30-year-old January loan arrival from Leicester “could be an inspired signing with the experience we need to get over the line”, “He made his decisions quickly and he passed and moved with good pace. He was intelligent and composed.”
“King was cool, composed and intelligent in his debut. He was a leader at Leicester and will be a very important player for us moving forward. He added much-needed height to the midfield”, “He didn’t do much but he didn’t put a toe wrong when he had the ball. He will add some steel and leadership.”
“Craig Bryson had a good game against Hull.” The 32-year-old one-time Kilmarnock man “protected the defence well by closing down and shutting off space. He was unspectacular but better, although he struggled to keep up with play at times”, “He still has it as a player but the hard edge isn’t there.”
“So much of the time you don’t see what Bryson is doing off the ball, filling gaps and covering. He is not a stand-out player these days but he’s liquid engineering”, “He kept coming too deep at Preston and I struggled to see what he brought to the side, running around in midfield and getting nowhere.”
“I am baffled how George Evans gets in the team ahead of Tom Huddlestone.” The 24-year-old July acquisition from Reading “works hard to get in blocks but doesn’t control midfield”, “He’s not a slick ball player but he does a lot of the dirty stuff, breaking up play and covering players out of position.”
“Evans is like John Eustace with a bit of pace. Get some ball players around him and he is what we need”, “He breaks play up well but his passing is aimless. He’s more mobile than Huddlestone but is less of a calming influence”, “With many players leaving this summer we need him ready to step up.”
“Duane Holmes at times has been our only player with any urgency.” The 24-year-old August signing from Scunthorpe “is very quick of thought and feet, always looking for a positive forward movement or pass”, “It’s not just his pace. He’s a very tidy player with good control and is also full of trickery.”
“I love to see Holmes running at defences”, “He plays with his head up, looking for team-mates and his superb passes open defences up”, “He’s definitely more like a playmaker and is wasted out wide. Putting him at right-back at Preston simply sacrificed our best attacking threat from recent weeks.”
“Huddlestone is like an old Jaguar car purring around the pitch.” The 32-year-old ex-Hull man “seems to be able to slow time. He always seems to have twice as long on the ball and never looks rushed”, “Everyone is on the same wavelength in no small part to this inclusion. He just lacks some mobility.”
Andreas Weimann and Tom Huddlestone with referee Geoff Eltringham
“When big Tom isn’t playing, we can’t pass the ball”, “He excels in games where we are dictating the play and in possession, but is less effective when we need to be bombing around trying to withstand pressure. He can then get caught betwixt and between”, “He controls games, his passing is unreal.”
Wingers and Wide Midfielders
“I like Mason Bennett’s aggression and physicality.” The 22-year-old youth product “is physical, fast, positive and he gives his all. He always looks dangerous and causes problems when coming on”, “He has skill and ability but doesn’t have a great touch. He’s an effective blunt weapon in certain games.”
“Bennett doesn’t use his physicality enough. He looks a strong player who could use his size to good effect but he rarely does. He should bully players more, he’s quite tippy-tappy for his physique”, “His finishing is a weak point but that will improve”, “You wouldn’t want him running at you, would you?”
“Teams should be afraid of Harry Wilson.” The 21-year-old Liverpool loan signing also played on loan at Hull in the second half of last season. “He’s a stylish footballer with a wasp-like sting. His technical ability is superb and his strike of a ball is unreal”, “We can snatch a victory with his magic left foot.”
Harry Wilson celebrates scoring their second goal (Hull City)
“A player like Wilson can be a difference in a promotion season. Defenders won’t risk tackling him outside the area. Give him a freekick as it’s as good as a penalty”, “When he’s stood over a freekick or running at goal, you can just see him scoring”, “Tough midfield battles can be too much for him.”
“Florian Jozefzoon is the only signing to not seem to do the business. Hopefully it’s confidence and form as he always seemed decent at Brentford.” The 27-year-old July purchase from the Bees “has been quiet. His movement and positioning have been really good but he is fairly poor on the ball.”
“Jozefzoon creates a lot of space for himself and other, but balances that out by being woeful on the ball and doesn’t take on his man”, “He’s just not cutting it at the moment. It’s odd, because I liked him early in the season”, “I was calling him ‘the wall’ to my mates as he always returns your pass.”
“Lawrence needs to pass the bloody ball.” The 25-year-old ex-Leicester man and one-time Town loan signing “has the ability to get a goal out of nothing but he doesn’t press or battle. He isn’t interested and often flatters to deceive”, “It’s all about decision-making and he makes a lot of wrong decisions.”
Lawrence scores against Town from a free kick
“I have never seen a player less adept at taking a ball past a defender but more determined to do so, every single time”, “Lawrence is that lad in six-a-side games who never passes”, “He’s infuriating. He gets into good positions and completely wastes the opportunity when we know he can do better.”
“We might as well pass the ball to a trampoline the way David Nugent is playing.” The 33-year-old one-time Leicester man and Town nemesis “is a spent force. He has been nothing more than a fly buzzing around for some time”, “His work rate overshadows the fact that he isn’t a scorer any more.”
“Go on, Nugent, prove me wrong and score the winner”, “He can’t move and is only fit enough for about 40 minutes a game”, “We would be better with Stan Boardman up front. He could do all the Scouser jokes, cuddle the opposition defenders, wink at everyone and get nowhere near the ball.”
“A fit Jack Marriott instead of Nugent and Preston would have been a certain win.” The 24-year-old July addition from Peterborough and one-time Town striker “is an absolutely deadly finisher”, “He always tries to figure out the most direct way to goal. He harries defenders and darts into spaces.”
“Marriott’s general technique is raw and often rushed but his finishing is superb and his crossing and timing of passes are also forward and direct”, “He won’t win a great deal in the air given his height”, “We are toothless up front without him and we would have been sunk if he had left us in January.”
“Are we about to see Waghorn given a chance as a striker? I hope so.” Rams have been desperate to see the 29-year-old former Town frontman play in a central role. “He battles for everything and appears to be literally everywhere. His movement and reactions are great to watch as is his gutsy running.”
Waghorn gets a kiss from Kenlock
“Waghorn is a nuisance. He’s strong and holds the ball up well, he makes great runs and his all-round game is great”, “His movement for both of his goals against Hull was superb and he gave us an outlet to play the ball to, working hard without a pause”, “His composure under pressure is exceptional.”
Rams’ Views on ITFC and the Game
“It’s never an easy game at Portman Road. How many times we messed up against teams at the bottom? We need all three points and they are fighting for their lives. It’s not as easy as some are saying”, “This will be a really tough game as the Tractor Boys will be fighting for their lives.”
“I’m feeling optimistic, but wouldn’t be surprised with an upset.” Rams are confident of victory. On one prediction league, an overwhelming 82 per cent have forecast an away win with just two per cent expecting Town to triumph. Waghorn and Wilson are widely seen as their most likely scorers.
“We must win this if we have any aspirations of top-two or even the play-offs. We haven’t turned up for these games this season”, “Ipswich are dire, one of the worst teams to play in the division for a long time”, “If we lose on Wednesday that right there will be up in lights on the Ipswich forum. “
“I saw Freddie Sears make his full debut for West Ham against us in 2008. I was sitting with a lot of my East End West Ham mates and they were so excited to see him start a Premier League game, and had massive hopes for the lad so I have always watched him. I’m very sorry to read about his injury.”
“It’s an injury I have had and hate to see it happen to anyone else.” Rams had plenty of sympathy for Freddie Sears and also had some thoughts about Sunday’s derby. “Ipswich played some neat football at times and 3-0 flattered Norwich. Local derbies can cancel out form in the heat of the moment.
“Ipswich did try but that’s really the least you expect from a local derby. Despite having more shots and possession at Carrow Road this season they didn't really lay a glove on Norwich. It’s probably a good time to play them as the confidence will be low after a 0-3 defeat despite playing pretty well.”
The busiest Rams message board is the friendly and very knowledgeable DCFCFans.uk. Derby County highlights are available on the Multimedia menu as well as Ipswich Town and for the whole of the Championship and other EFL leagues.
Photo: Action Images
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