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Tom Lawrence makes key Derby County relegation claim



Derby County captain Tom Lawrence believes any other team would have been relegated four or five months ago if they had encountered the Rams’ situation, speaking to his side’s media team after their drop to the third tier was confirmed.

The East Midlands outfit have endured a terrible time off the pitch this term, being placed under a transfer embargo in the summer that hampered them in their quest to replace those that had left Pride Park.

Escaping relegation on the last day of the 2020/21 campaign, this made them favourites to go down and their task was made even harder when they were deducted 12 points in September for their entrance into administration.

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And this task of achieving survival against the odds was made all but impossible when they suffered a further nine-point sanction in November for historical financial misdemeanours, another kick in the teeth for a side that have fought bravely on the pitch throughout the entire season thus far.

However, this battle against the drop came to an end yesterday afternoon with Wayne Rooney’s men suffering a 1-0 defeat against Queens Park Rangers in the English capital and the Royals scoring a late equaliser against Swansea City to widen the gap between the two sides to ten points with just three games left.

Despite this setback though, Lawrence was full of praise for his teammates and believes most other clubs would have been relegated much earlier than they were in their situation.

He said: “I read a stat the other day that said nobody has ever stayed up with minus 12 points, we had minus 21 and we’ve given it a good fight so I can only reiterate how proud I am for everyone around Derby and the way everyone has been united, it’s been special.

“The way them fans have supported us, the way the boys have given everything, and I think our performances have shown that, and any other team would have been relegated four, five months ago, so it’s credit to everyone in the changing room and credit to the fans as well.”

The Verdict:

It was always going to be a huge task but the Rams showed a real fighting spirit to keep themselves in the race and after previously establishing themselves as favourites to remain afloat in the division, they will perhaps be disappointed that they were unable to secure their safety.

However, the loss of key men this calendar year including Phil Jagielka and Graeme Shinnie provided them with a real uphill battle and in the end, that has probably cost them their second-tier status.

But it could be argued that the step to offload Shinnie and others was a necessary move to keep the club afloat financially with the Midlands outfit still in the depths of administration at this stage.

Playing without pressure and whilst being written off seemed to suit Rooney’s men which tells you a lot about their character, even if this lack of expectation and pressure was a potential psychological advantage.

Their character can’t be questioned though and this is why their manager will be looking to retain as many of his current first-teamers as possible as they enter a new chapter in the third tier of English football.

A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Tom Lawrence makes key Derby County relegation claim

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