Derby End Pre-Season Well
I must admit I am very pleased with our start to the season. I had seen the fixtures for August and had been rather sceptical about how the month would unveil itself. However, due to some magnificent performances, we didn’t do too badly. We had a bright pre season, winning 3 out of 4 games, albeit against much weaker oppositions. We dominated the fixtures, winning comfortably in the 3 games we did win. Overall, pleased with the pre season:
The month could not have begun much worse, my first home game, in front of the Derby faithful. We took the lead on 31 minutes through a Zak Whitbread header. However, Blackburn equaliser in less than a minute and were then 2-1 at half-time. To say I was angry would be an understatement, I was furious. I told the boys to go and show the fans what they are really made of, but instead, we shipped another 2 goals ending in a 4-1 defeat at home.
We had a chance to put things right mid-week with a Capital One Cup game away at local team Burton Albion. I had thought this game would be a stroll having already beaten them in a pre-season friendly 3-0. However, we ended up drawing 1-1 after 90 minutes. I told the lads to attack Burton in the second half but credit where credit is due, the Burton defence stood strong. A few tactical substitutions after 90 minutes saw Patric Bamford and Connor Sammon come on to lead the line. The substitutions certainly paid off, Bamford scoring two and Sammon grabbing one. Final Score, Burton 1-4 Derby (AET).
Next up was a trip down to the South Coast to play Brighton and Hove Albion. This was sure to be a tricky fixture as I knew Brighton had some quality players in their ranks. I decided to play new boy Chris Basham at right back, this certainly worked a treat. I played a 4-4-2 for this game as it was a tricky fixture for us and I didn’t want another humiliating defeat. However, Brighton didn’t quite prove to be the force I had expected them to be, as we grabbed a 2-0 victory away from home. Two second half strikes from Connor Sammon and Chris Basham saw us take the game to Brighton who never really looked like breaking through our strong defence. Final Score, Brighton 0-2 Derby.
Our second home game of the season, we really needed a win to settle the home fans. This game would be hard for us, very hard. However, coming off the back of a 2-0 away win at Brighton, I was feeling confident in the lads, hoping that the opening day against Blackburn was the fluke rather than the Brighton game. We fielded a strong side with Patrick Bamford leading the line on his own. I wanted to attack Leicester from the off, and we certainly did scoring in the first minute. Patrick Bamford with the goal. We then added another through Will Hughes in the 22nd minute. At this point I made sure we defended the lead so I thought we should play counter-attacking football. We went into half-time leading 2-0. In the second half, we had to soak in a huge amount of pressure from Leicester, we did successfully expect one time when Jamie Vardy slipped through and scored with a magnificent finish into the top corner. However, we stuck it out and ended up winning 2-1.
We then had another long journey to Yeovil Town, Championship new boys. I had rather foolishly expected us to go to Yeovil and grab an easy three points, how wrong was I? Yeovil provided more of a threat than I had ever imagined, scoring inside the first minute through Ishmael Miller. We were then on the back foot for the entire first half, luckily escaping to half time with the score only at 1-0. In the second half, we needed to play with a different manner. Johnny Russell lead from the front, grabbing us a goal in the 64th minute. He really was our saviour in this game, and without him, we probably would have lost. Final Score, Yeovil 1-1 Derby.
Another cup game came around in August, just to add to our already hectic schedule. This time it was Millwall at home, a tough game I thought, this could end up being a dirty game. We went ahead through Connor Sammon after 31 minutes, after what had been a rather dull opening half hour. Millwall did equalise in the second half through Danny Redmond,on loan from Wigan. This game was one of the worst games I have ever seen, definitely not one for the neutrals! The last thing people wanted was another half an hour, but that is exactly what we got. Connor Sammon again proved to be the cup scorer as he grabbed his second of the game in extra-time giving us the all important lead. Full Time Score, Derby 2-1 Millwall (AET)
Final game of the month, would be great if we could grab a win against a promotion rival. It was Burnley at home for us on the final day of August. This proved to be the best game of the month for us, not the best result but a great game. We went 1-0 down inside 20 minutes after an Ashley Barnes strike. We then hit back with goals from Chris Basham, Will Hughes and Johnny Russell. We were 3-1 with 10 minutes to go when Danny Ings scored for Burnley. This would prove to be a nervy final 10 for the Derby boys. However, we defended well and ended up getting the all important win. Final Score Derby 3-2 Burnley.
August League Table