Derby v Norwich
English Championship, October 3rd, 7.45pm
BEFORE Derby kicked a ball away to Bolton I was supremely confident Derby would build on the Man Utd penalty drama and make it 6 wins from 7 against Bolton.
For the third time in 3 games we conceded an early goal. It took Brentford 44 seconds, Man Utd 3.5 mins and Bolton had one in the net around 8 or 9 mins. Shocking.
Not even mentioned we've failed to score in 3 of our last 4 league games. Sometimes it's hard being a fan and judging by how many of us got results wrong at the weekend – not being helped by lots of draws, I suppose I can find a bit of comfort in knowing I'm not alone.
Bolton won 1-0 but look at the stats. It took Derby 88 minutes to get a shot on goal but more worryingly we ended the match with 78% possession. Barcelona would struggle to get that possession against Burton Albion but at least they'd do something with it.
Chelsea loanee Mason Mount – our go-to guy for creativity threw up on the pitch at the start. He played on but his contribution to the Derby cause was nil.
All that time on the ball but if you cannot create something it's pointless boasting those stats. That midfield linkage to the attack was absent and I feel at the expense of a solid back line Derby have reverted back to a pair of wing-backs.
Forsyth on the left was busy but it came to nothing. Bryson in holding midfield with Johnson is just wrong. Johnson at Norwich (his old employer) got 13 goals on the wing before we brought him and I think 3 seasons back Bryson managed 17 from midfield. Bryson keeps popping up with a speculative shot but he's not being given the instructions to be that “late arrival in the box” – which is where he comes alive.
Some changes will happen tonight and even though stats/goals and form for Derby would suggest otherwise we have actually been half decent at home.
Norwich are looking for a 5th straight league win. Aside from a 1-0 over Middlesbrough that started this run, Wycombe in the cup, QPR, Reading and Wigan were their ” victims”. The 3 big hitters they played at the start of the season – Sheff Utd, Leeds and West Brom – beat them.
Predicting a score line is a toughie but I do believe Derby will somehow find their feet tonight. Remember the reaction after drawing against Blackburn we barged Brentford aside. I just hope we do not concede first, otherwise we have it all to do.
I do expect a few changes, possibly Mount is due a rest, I'd be happy for Bryson to fill that role but it is possible Lawrence will return on the left and a change in the middle of the strikeforce. Maybe Waghorn. Team news at 7pm.
- Derby (28-25, Marathonbet)