Duffers’ Diaries: The Robins and the Rams keep us guessing

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I opted to wait until the game at Blyth had finished before writing my column this week, particularly given there hasn’t been a great deal else to discuss in the last few days!

In the end it seems Ilkeston were a little unlucky not to have got something out of the game, but at the same time leaders Blyth did what they had to do and did it well to extend their advantage at the top.

Ilkeston need points if they still want to challenge for the play-offs, but expecting them to have got many at Blyth might have been asking a lot, so it’s a case of moving on and preparing for the visit to Skelmersdale on Saturday which on paper looks far more likely to bear fruit.

There are still 16 league games to go but it seems most likely that Ilkeston’s season is most likely heading towards a steady top half finish rather than one where promotion is any kind of possibility.

They won’t go down, but it’s highly likely they won’t go up either.

That’s not the worst situation in the world as the club continues to steady itself after the widespread changes last summer and then equally widespread changes during the campaign.

A good run could still make things interesting, but with those above them having games in hand and the play-offs nine points away from Ilkeston as things stand, I struggle to see the Robins finishing much higher than seventh or eighth, but I guess we’ll see.

I thought I’d stick my two-penneth in with regard to the managerial situation at Derby County given it’s just down the road and seems to have generated so much debate.

Quite frankly, the decision to sack Paul Clement seems ridiculous.

I get a little of what Mel Morris is saying in his somewhat strange statement and subsequent interviews, but I can’t get away from the fact that surely, with Derby fifth in the table and having every chance of going up, such a rash decision was premature.

Derby are on a poor run, granted, and by all accounts performances have dropped in recent weeks, but the Championship is proving to once again be a division ‘nobody wants to win’ given the inconsistency being shown by the top sides.

I don’t buy that promotion ‘wasn’t a priority’ because if that was really the case Clement would still be in his job. Having said that, the decision to put the untried Darren Wassall in charge until the end of the season perhaps has an element of ‘white flag’ about it given he is, surely, far less likely to take the Rams up than Clement was.

Trigger happy owners/chairmen are a common factor in the modern game and the number of sackings shows that, but this one has genuinely stunned all Derby fans I know and I can’t help but feel the Rams board have harmed the club’s chances of progress far more than had Clement stayed put.

Twitter: @DuffersSport