Ram raided

Blues’ defeat at home to Derby, as witnessed by Andy Munro.

Three-nil at home sounds a thrashing but it doesn’t tell even half the story, as Blues dominated most of the first half and held their own for much of the second. However, while we hit the post twice with their keeper stranded, two of Derby’s goals showcased the talents of the tricky Johnny Russell and the under-rated talents of Vydra.

So, without replaying the match in detail what went wrong? Well, a team of Derby’s attacking talents has to be kept on the back foot, which is something that we were never going to do with three defensive midfielders If they do their job properly, only two should be needed, leaving room for Jota and more attacking potential. This is particularly important with no natural overlapping left full back.

At the same time when either Boga or Maghoma go down the wing the other has to be told to get into the box to support Gallagher. It also shouldn’t be beyond one of the ‘defensive’ midfielders to anchor in front of the back four to allow the other to head towards the box. It’s patently obvious that we just don’t get enough bodies in the box to support the increasingly impressive Gallagher.

In terms of the defence, too often we allowed Derby players, particularly Russell, to get the momentum to run past defenders and maybe Grounds, due to his lack of pace, was a major culprit in this regard of not being close enough to players when they received the ball. As regards the rest of the defence, apart from the peerless Colin, a veil is best drawn over the distribution emanating from Messrs Deane and Roberts.

Finally, as the match was ebbing away from us, why did it take so long to bring on the subs and even then, why oh why was Adams playing so deep. Undoubtedly we’ve got to be braver in our approach as on paper we should have the players to be more front footed in our approach…but has Cotterill got the tactical cojones?