A return to pride park for the Blues where they have, in recent years, got some decent results. Playing a side managed by former manager Gary Rowett – who organises his sides very well, you could imagine a quite solid County team. Lee Carsley on the other hand, who’s stepped in as caretaker whilst the Blues hierarchy find a replacement for Harry Redknapp, fielded a very strong Blues side which looked very attacking.
Neither team started well, with neither playing better than the other. Derby had a couple of chances, so did the visitors. Two Birmingham locals thick in the action early on – David Davis and Craig Gardner. Gardner playing his first game in a while made a good account of himself. Jaques Maghoma was creating some opportunities, but striker Sam Gallagher seemed to want to latch onto anything. Rowett’s Derby didn’t look as sharp as they usually do, but that was a very good thing for the boys in royal blue. Like most football games, it was end to end, Derby couldn’t get a grip on the game but neither could the away side.
Tom Huddlestone for Derby and Cheick N’Doye for Blues we’re the chief consultants for either side during the game, controlling the way the teams play which could have been why none of the teams could get a grip on the game; that was the main duel.
At half time I imagine Lee Carsley would have been asking for more of the same, because even a point away from home at Derby is good considering the last six game Blues have lost (including Bournemouth in the Carabao cup).
In the early stages of the first half, players from both sides were flying into challenges giving away free kicks because, by the sounds of things, N’Doye and Tom Lawrence were in the referee’s bad books. After a flying attempt from Jaques Maghoma, Carsley made two changes which saw Isaac Vassell replacing Jermaine Boga and Lukas Jutkiewicz replace sought-after striker Sam Gallagher who’s not really impressed in his first few games as a Blue.
The game opened up a bit and we saw Blues play football fans haven’t seen for a long time. In training this week, it’s clear to see that Lee Carsley has got the boys playing back to the style we are most favoured to which is grinding out results. A piece of trickery from Gardner was followed by him crossing the ball in for Jutkiewitz to head in a really well-finished goal.
Here’s the reaction from the Blues fans:
Blues would have hoped they could have held onto their lead, but Derby wouldn’t let it lie and Blues’ lead was short-lived when Sam Winnall put the ball in the back of the net for the Rams. So blues come away with a point but there are many positives to take from the game and take into the game against Sheffield Wednesday midweek.
RB Baird , CB Keogh , CB Davies , LB Olsson
CDM Huddlestone , CDM Johnson
RM Lawrence , CAM Vydra , LM Weimann
RB Nsue , CB Morrison , CB Dean , LB Colin
RCM Davis , CM Gardner , LCM N’Doye
RW Maghoma , ST Gallagher , LW Boga
Possession – Derby; 53% , Blues; 46%
Shots – Derby; 10 , Blues; 10
Shots on target – Derby; 4 , Blues; 2
Corners – Derby; 4 , Blues; 6
Fouls – Derby; 14 , Blues; 10