Derby County will be looking to pick up their first home win of the season against West Bromwich Albion this weekend, after succumbing to their first defeat of the campaign on Tuesday night.
The Rams have put in two below-par performances in front of their home fans this season, picking up just one point from their opening two games at Pride Park.
Bristol City were the visitors on Tuesday night, with Lee Johnson’s side blowing the Rams away with an impressive first half display. Andreas Weimann and Josh Brownhill firing the Robins into a 2-0 lead at the interval.
Phillip Cocu’s side failed to break down a solid, resilient City side for large parts of the contest, but they eventually found the back of the net through substitute Jack Marriott, who curled a magnificent left-footed shot into the top corner with just five minutes left to play.
Derby fans had been crying out for Marriott to make an appearance from off the bench much earlier on, but after the game, Cocu revealed that he did not want to risk the forward, who is still looking to get up to full match fitness.
He remained coy on whether he would start against West Brom this coming weekend, and if he is fit, we take a look at whether he should look to be played from the off…
After scoring so many crucial goals from off the bench under Frank Lampard last season, Marriott is renowned for being a “super-sub”, but he’ll want be to known as much more than that this season.
You cannot deny what an impact he does make when he comes as a substitute though, as displayed on Tuesday night against City.
After switching to a 3-4-1-2 formation at half-time, Derby brought Marriott on for Mason Bennett on 68 minutes. Martyn Waghorn had failed to cope against City’s back three of Nathan Baker, Tomas Kalas and Taylor Moore, so Marriott’s movement and hold-up play would be key here.
Marriott had only two touches inside the box though, with most of his action coming when he dropped back into attacking midfield, to collect the ball and either turn himself or give it out wide to Max Lowe or Florian Jozefzoon. He accrued a total pass success rate of 75% in 27 minutes.
The 24-year-old also won nine out of 13 duels during his substitute cameo, pulling off two shots with one of them finding the net in some style.
He collected the ball from Jozefzoon on the edge of the area, turned onto his left-foot and curled a shot into the top corner of Dan Bentley’s net, ensuring that it would be a nervy end for the Robins.
Derby failed to salvage a point in the end, but Cocu will be delighted with his striker’s impact, and he will now have a massive selection headache ahead of his side’s home clash with the Baggies this weekend.