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‘The first-half performance was magnificent’ – Derby County fan pundit assesses opening-day win

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This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Regular Punter’ series, where we gather original opinions from select, passionate fans of the clubs concerned on matters surrounding their team and share them with a wider audience…

Football League World’s Derby County fan pundit, Lisa Howard, has lavished her side with praise following their win away to Huddersfield Town on Monday night.

The Rams came away with a 2-1 victory to ensure that Philip Cocu’s competitive reign got off to the best possible start and Howard insists that there was plenty to be happy about.

“The first-half performance was magnificent,” the regular punter told Football League World.

“The team looked more organised, they went forward with more pace and power and never looked to rush the next pass.

“They all seemed to know what their job was within the squad and formation. The manager even changed the shape during the game and we still remained organised and compact as a unit.

“[I was] very impressed. We were under a lot of pressure in the second half but defended really well.”

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Tom Lawrence scored twice in the first half to put the Rams in a commanding position, chipping home first after a mistake from Terriers debutant Tommy Elphick.

The second was a beautiful goal from all aspects. Some slick passing on the edge of the Huddersfield area eventually found its way to the Welshman who dug-out an excellent shot from outside the area and into the bottom right corner.

And Lawrence’s individual display was one that seriously impressed Howard, however, it was a player making his debut who really stood out for her.

“Tom Lawrence for me had one of his, if not his, best game for Derby last night,” she said.

“He was given a free role within the squad which suits his style of play and scored two fantastic goals.

“This is what we need to see more of from him as he can at times go missing in games.

“But the stand out player for me, on his debut, was Matt Clarke.

“He was immense at the back and just what we have needed, a centre-half that is big, strong and good at heading a ball.”

Clarke made the move on loan to Derby from Brighton after they had bought him from League One side Portsmouth earlier this summer.


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Article title: ‘The first-half performance was magnificent’ – Derby County fan pundit assesses opening-day win

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