OPINION: Gary Rowett needs time to restructure Derby County squad

IN PICTURE: Derby County manager Gary Rowett.
SPORT: LEAD: Nottingham Forest v Derby County.  Sky Bet Championship match at the City Ground, Nottingham.  Saturday, 18th March 2017.
MARK FEAR - MARK FEAR PHOTOGRAPHY.  CONTACT markfearphotographer@outlook.com (+44) 753 977 3354
IN PICTURE: Derby County manager Gary Rowett. SPORT: LEAD: Nottingham Forest v Derby County. Sky Bet Championship match at the City Ground, Nottingham. Saturday, 18th March 2017. MARK FEAR - MARK FEAR PHOTOGRAPHY. CONTACT markfearphotographer@outlook.com (+44) 753 977 3354

The start of the season started with a hard fought draw at Sunderland. All in all I think that it was a fair result.

Our hosts dominated early on and we took the lead against the run of play. A debatable penalty saw them level before half time and in the second half, both sides failed to make any chances count.

The pleasing thing from this fixture was to see such a quality long pass by Tom Huddlestone reach the target with accuracy in the build up to the game. Huddlestone is known for his long passing and it’s a thing of beauty when it meets its target.

Gary Rowett likes the ball to be moved into the opponent’s half as quickly as possible and it’s not achieved by merely hoofing the ball downfield. There’s nothing wrong with long targeted passes. They can sometimes be defence splitting moves.

I recall George Thorne making an equally impressive pass a few seasons ago and the journalists were quite rightly raving about it.

It would be interesting to see Thorne line up alongside Huddlestone if and when he returns from injury. I think they could make quite an interesting combination in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Rowett started the game at Sunderland using the old 4-3-3 option, however we looked far more threatening in the later stages of the game when Vydra came on and playing off Nugent.

Rowett has a legacy of a squad without the vital ingredients for the more traditional 4-4-2. We must give him time to restructure the playing staff roster too! A change in direction and a different option is needed, but it won’t be achieved overnight!

The boss has had bids in for a few players, but is yet to add to the trio he signed pre-season.

A £7m bid for Tom Lawrence was rejected by Leicester. In my opinion he should be crossed of the list now. That’s a huge fee for a player with limited experience on his cv or proven form.

Clubs have seen us collect some serious money over the summer and will no doubt be wanting large chunks for anyone we care to bid for.

We’ve spent heavily over the past few years and the current approach will hopefully prove that lessons have been learned.