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The Great Escape - Derby County

Started on 17 November 2021 by Vernak555
Latest Reply on 17 November 2021 by Vernak555
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Derby Evening Telegraph Chief Sports Reporter Steve Nichilsun

Derby County season Diary 2021/2022

Welcome Rams fans. Over the coming season I'll be bringing you a monthly review of all things Derby County to look back on for, what will hopefully be, a successful season. As with every season they'll be ups and they'll be downs, they'll be wins and they'll be losses. But one things for sure with this club, it certainly it won't be boring.
Here's to a enjoyable season for this great little club.

July -

Shockwaves rumbled through Pride Park as news came out that Wayne Rooney had left the club by mutual consent. He was quoted as saying that "Despite overwelming love for the club, and a passion to see them do well, the difficulties currently endured by the club have made my position untenable".
Rumours swirled for days on who would replace the fan favourite, but then a press conference was announced for 26th June to unveil the new man at the helm.

Step forward Jake Stevenson, a complete unknown by EFL standards, but someone who impressed the club's heirachy with his record with Northern Premier League outfit Mickleover Sports, where he went the equivilent of two whole seasons unbeaten. They also spoke of being overwhelmingly enthused with his vision for the club, and the style of play he wanted to bring to the team. "I don't believe in possession for possession's sake. I'm not a long ball merchant, but I like my teams to get the ball between the lines quickly. I'm not a fan of endless sideways passing". When this reported asked him what he would bring to the club, that other managers haven't, he replied, mattarfactly "A desire, and a will to win. I hate losing a game of football, it's the worst feeling in the world. And from now on, it's this club's job to ensure we don't have that feeling very often".

Stevenson takes over a club in a period of crisis, deducted 12 points before a ball has even been kicked due to the outgoing chairman, Mel Morris, placing the club in administration, and many fans are already questioning his suitability for the role. "I get that" he admitted "But I've always worked within strict budgets and limitations so I'd say I'm perfect for the penny pinching that is required for the foreseeable future" Does he believe the current squad is capable of staying up? "One thing Wayne did do before resigning is to ensure there is a good squad of players to work with". "There's a good mix of elder pros and young hungry players so it's down to me to ensure they gel"

Is he worried that his players will be dubious about his suitability for the job considering his lack of league experience? "I'm sure they'll be a certain amount of that. But many aspects of football are the same from grassroots all the way up to internationals. All I ask is for them to invest in my ideas and to give 100%. If they do, I think we can prove a lot of people wrong this year"

He spoke of his philosophy in pressing opponents as much as possible, so warned his new charges that preseason was going to be tough. "I never want the other team to have easy possession, I want them to have to battle for every touch, or pass they make. I want them worn down even before the half time whistle goes, so the lads will need to be in peak condition to maintain that standard".

The message appeared to get through to the players as their focus during preseason was sharp from the off, this was evident during the first game of pre-season against Lyon. Despite being reduced to 10 men just before half time when Graeme Shinnie was set off, they only conceded two in the last 10 minutes. The team looked confident on the ball, and prepared to make risky passes in order to pull their opponents around the park.

Better results followed as The Rams racked up three victories including a 6-0 win over Mansfield. Their only other defeat came at home against Cruz Azul.

Players & staff have appeared focused and enjoying training, and there was a real sense that they could hit the ground running once the real games get underway.

You are reading "The Great Escape - Derby County".

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