Derby County returned to winning ways in the Championship on Wednesday night, with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Wigan Athletic at Pride Park.
It wasn’t the best performance from the Rams and they rode their luck at times, but they got the win in the end thanks to Graeme Shinnie’s first goal for the club – a spectacular right-footed half-volley in the 92nd minute.
Phillip Cocu demanded a response from his players following their 3-0 defeat to Charlton Athletic at the weekend and they showed character to get maximum points.
There’s still plenty of room for improvement though, but the result has given the players something to build on going into their clash with Hull City at the KCOM Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Here are TWO tweaks Cocu may consider for the Hull clash…
Starting Chris Martin
Cocu made one change to his starting line-up for the clash with Wigan on Wednesday night, with Duane Holmes coming into the side and Chris Martin dropping to the bench.
The Derby boss decided to mix things up at half-time and brought on Martin in place of Jamie Paterson and while his introduction didn’t exactly change the game, he was still influential in the second half.
He’s been in great form recently and he provided the Rams with more of a focal point in attack – as well as producing a brilliant touch to tee up Shinnie for the game’s decisive moment.
Cocu may well consider starting Martin up front against Hull at the weekend and the striker will be be determined to prove a point after his disappointing loan spell at the KCOM Stadium last season.
Should Chris Martin start for Derby against Hull City this weekend?
Give Jack Marriott a chance
After missing the previous three matches for Derby with a muscle injury, Jack Marriott came off the bench in the second half against Wigan – although he was forced to play on the right due to Martin’s presence up front and struggled to make an impact.
Marriott has been an important player for Derby since joining at the beginning of last season and although he hasn’t always been given the opportunity to start matches, he’s shown that he’s more than more than capable of making an impact and scoring goals at this level.
He scored 13 goals for Derby last season – only Harry Wilson scored more – and after a run of seven games without scoring, he’ll be determined to make an impact against Hull.
If he opts against starting Martin, Cocu could decide to mix things up a bit and give Jack Marriott a chance up front against the Tigers.