OPINION: ‘International break comes at a good time for Derby County’

Tom Huddlestone of Derby County - Pic By James Williamson
Tom Huddlestone of Derby County - Pic By James Williamson

We go into the latest international break at what could be a good time for a pause in Championship action at Pride Park.

Derby suffered a humiliating home defeat to Reading and so ended their unbeaten run that saw us up into the top six.

The timing of this break will give Richard Keogh and Matej Vydra some time to recover from knocks they have received recently.

Without making excuses our defence was pretty poor on Saturday. Richard Keogh off in the opening few minutes made some of the haters realise just how important a player he is to the team.

I was a little surprised to see both Sam Winnall and David Nugent start, however it was later revealed that Vydra wasn’t fully fit.

One plus from an otherwise gutless performance was a goal for Chris Martin. Fans are divided as to what part he can or will play in this seasons campaign.

I myself would like to see a run of games with Martin starting and Vydra taking that number ten role alongside him. Vydra for me is always a threat when he’s on the pitch and he can play off Martin just like he did Troy Deeney at Watford.

Most of the team on Saturday turned in below par performances and I ask just how many more poor games Tom Huddlestone will have before he’s removed from the starting eleven?

Hull City fans were up in arms at his sale, but thus far he has failed to shine! A fully fit George Thorne will put pressure on Huddlestone to deliver the goods sooner rather than later.

Joe Ledley was a miss on Saturday and hopefully he will return to action after the break.

We are about a third of the way through the season and we are up there as contenders for a top six finish. Performances haven’t been pretty, but there has been some magical moments.

Hopefully we can remain there or thereabouts.

This division doesn’t get any easier and the chasing pack is bunching up with the top six. Every team has had its good games and bad games.

I would like to see a couple of new faces in the squad when the January transfer window arrives, but we need to push on and make sure we are still in the picture during the run up to Christmas.

One area that still concerns me is the wings. Tom Lawrence had an awful game on Saturday and Johnny Russell hasn’t cemented his place in the starting line-up.

We face Fulham when we return and they are a side that has surprised many with their slow start to the season.

They are known for good attractive football, but as we all know very well at Derby, that guarantees nothing. We must take advantage of their poor form and show some real intentions of moving on.