Derby County may be going through the ringer off the pitch, but you wouldn’t be able to tell that from their performances.
Despite Wayne Rooney only having a thread-bare squad to select from and seeing one of their only two senior strikers get struck down with a long-term injury in Colin Kazim-Richards, the Rams have only lost two out of their first eight Championship matches.
And in the wake of the latest bad news to hit the club with administration looming, a tough task awaited on the pitch against Stoke City.
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Even though the Potters possessed a lot more strength in depth, first half goals from Max Bird and Curtis Davies were enough to secure a 2-1 win for County and it saw them rise to 12th in the table – a place they’re not set to be in for long because of the points deduction that is set to be imposed.
One player who has gained a new lease of life at Derby is Ravel Morrison, who after going through years of multiple clubs and little game-time seems to have settled under Rooney at Pride Park.
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Morrison has appeared in six league games for the Rams this season so far and following the win over Stoke yesterday, he issued a thankful message to the fans for sticking by the squad in their hour of need.
Incredible support from all the fans, 3 points 🥳
Now we have to stick together & keep smiling through these difficult times but us players will Give 100% for use all every weekend that’s for sure ! 🐏 @dcfcofficial
— ravel morrison (@morrisonravel) September 18, 2021
We may only be a short time into the season, but Morrison seems to be settled at Derby under a manager that has faith in him.
This is almost a last-chance saloon for the Jamaica international but he seems to be playing without any pressure whatsoever.
It will help Morrison that there’s not exactly much competition for places right now but he’s got a lot of younger players vying for a place in the team in the same area of the pitch so he may have to act as a bit of a leader towards them.
Whilst he will never hit the heights that he once promised, Morrison can still prove that he has the class for the Championship but it’s going to be a tough ask for him to provide the goods to keep Derby up this season with a massive points deduction looming.