It’s not going to be an easy ride for Gary Rowett at Derby County and despite an encouraging start at Pride Park, the Rams have crashing back down to earth with two consecutive defeats.
Whilst the early signs of Rowett’s tenure were superb, the cracks began to show in the second half at Griffin Park last weekend, with Derby conceding three late goals to all-but end their play-off hopes.
It might sound harsh, but after the game it’s clearer more than ever that a squad overhaul is much needed this summer. Whilst some of these players are more than good enough at this level, it’s quite clear that at Derby, some individuals just aren’t fit to wear the shirt.
The likes of Craig Bryson, Johnny Russell, Tom Ince and Jacob Butterfield are all proven names at this level but against the Bees, they wilted and showed little to nothing.
This is a Derby squad that had a very minor chance of squeezing into the play-offs come the end of the season and had they won all of their remaining games, they might have done just that.
But the loss at Griffin Park shows that some of these names really don’t have it in them and Gary Rowett has a big job ahead, organising the players that are both good enough and want it enough to take to the pitch next season.
It’s easy to brush over the odd one-nil defeat here and there where it’s just a bad day at the office but Derby were comfortably beaten by a mid-table side that have little to play for this season.
It’s a worrying sign and shows quite simply that some of these Derby County players just aren’t fit enough to wear the shirt.
Over to you Gary Rowett, where some big decisions have to be made this summer.