Town In Top Six At Christmas
Town set out to break the cycle of losing to teams above them in the Championship but the result was, sadly, frustratingly familiar.
We started the game well with lots of possession and some excellent runs from Freddie Sears, in particular. Then Derby stepped up a gear passing the ball around with confidence.
Derby's style was very physical and the referee turned himself into a pantomime villain by letting a number of Derby fouls go unnoticed, and getting in the way on two occasions when Town were attacking.
Tom Ince scored the only goal following a collision that left Christophe Berra lying on the pitch holding his head. Ince was offside by the way and Town were unlucky in what was an end to end game.
In the second half Derby wasted time at every opportunity and continued to have the rub of the green with key refereeing decisions. The crowd grew increasingly frustrated with Mr.Hill who has been our nemesis before but kept supporting the boys in blue through and through.
The introduction of Ryan Frazer gave us the cutting edge we had lacked and on another day we would have seen Ince sent off for his high challenge on our lively winger.
The difference between the teams today was more to do with consistent passing, more shots on target - we only had one in the whole game - and what is often called being a 'professional' but I see it more unsportsmanlike behaviour in many respects.
Looking at our recent form overall, it's been a mixture of those 4 excellent away wins with home defeats against rivals Middlesborough and Derby.
The bad news is we are going to spend the rest of the season trying to cling onto just perhaps a
a 25% chance of promotion, in at best, a play -off place, as we are a couple of men short of a serious Premiership outfit.
The good news is we are still in the top six for Christmas.
Happy Christmas everyone!