Derby County’s three-game unbeaten run was brought to an end last night as they suffered a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Bristol City in the Championship.
Having recently secured victories over Stoke City and Swansea City, the Rams entered last night’s clash at Ashton Gate brimming with confidence.
Yet despite making a positive start to proceedings, Derby fell behind in the 38th minute as Nahki Wells headed home from Jay Dasilva’s cross.
The Robins then doubled their advantage on the stroke of half-time as Filip Benkovic netted his first goal for the club.
Following the break, the hosts extended their lead as Niclas Eliasson teed up Famara Diedhiou who fired past goalkeeper Ben Hamer.
Martyn Waghorn pulled a goal back for the Rams in the 61st minute before Chris Martin scored his side’s second goal of the evening in the closing stages of the clash.
Although Derby pushed forward for an equaliser, the hosts held on to seal all three points.
With the dust having now settled from this game, here are three things we clearly learnt about the Rams after their narrow defeat to the Robins…
They need to work on their defending from crosses
When you consider that all of City’s goals came from crosses yesterday, it is imperative that Derby work on how to prevent the opposition from scoring in this particular scenario.
Whether this requires manager Phillip Cocu to limit the forward runs that his full-backs make during a game or even make drastic changes to his formation, he needs to find a solution to this issue.
If the Rams can step up their performances in a defensive sense, there is no reason why they cannot go on to achieve a relative amount of success in the coming months.
Bird should be handed a prolonged run in Cocu’s starting XI
Having delivered yet another impressive display in the heart of midfield, Max Bird clearly already has the ability to compete at Championship level.
Whilst Graeme Shinnie and Tom Huddlestone will be pushing for a place in defensive midfield, Cocu ought to consider sticking by the teenager as doing so could aide his development.
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By playing on a regular basis between now and the end of the season, Bird may be able to emerge as a key player at Pride Park.
They have made an improvement when it comes to resilience
Whereas the Rams were unable to muster up a comeback during previous away clashes against the likes of Nottingham Forest and Reading, they demonstrated yesterday an improvement in terms of their resilience.
Whilst many teams would have tried to limit the damage at 3-0 down, Derby continued to attack which allowed them to get back into the game.
Providing that they are able to build upon their second-half display in their showdown with Huddersfield Town on Saturday, the Rams will have every chance of getting back to winning ways in the Championship.