Derby County’s Malcolm Ebiowei has sent the fans a message of thanks for their support this season.
The Rams had their relegation to League One confirmed on Monday following the side’s late defeat to Queens Park Rangers.
A late 4-1 comeback from Reading at the same time to complete a 4-4 draw with Swansea City ensured that Wayne Rooney’s side could not avoid the drop.
It has been a difficult season for the club both on and off the pitch due to uncertainty over the ownership of Derby.
The Pride Park-based team went into administration in September which earned the team a 21-point deduction penalty which all but sealed their fate.
However, Ebiowei has shown his gratitude to the club’s supporters for backing the team throughout these difficulties.
“I want to thank the fans for their support, been with us from the start and have made me so proud to be a part of this team,” wrote the 18-year old, via Instagram.
“Unfortunately we have not reached our goal, however considering the circumstances we did not go down without a fight. Thank you again.”
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The midfielder has played five Championship games for the club this season, including one start.
However, he was powerless to help the club avoid the drop as Derby were left with too much work to overcome.
Only die-hard Derby County supporters will get at least 20/25 on this higher or lower quiz
The defeat to QPR left the Rams 23rd in the table, 10 points away from Reading with only three games left to play.
Derby will now have to plan for life in League One, with new ownership on the horizon.
For now, they must play Bristol City at home on April 23.
That an 18-year old feels the need to address the supporters in itself is indicative of where Derby’s season has gone.
The squad has been depleted with players leaving but no money available to replace them.
It has been an incredibly difficult campaign and the team deserve credit for their efforts to avoid relegation.
It will not be easy to come back straight away as League One can be a hard division to get away from, but if they can keep this team together in any way with Rooney at the helm then they stand a chance at promotion next season.