Off the ball we were amazing – our work rate was outstanding – and we were trying to win the game from the first minute to last while Stoke were trying to stay in it.”
Derby the better side first half thanks to their best 45 minutes for some time, but no goal to show for it.
He has scored five goals this season, is capable of more and can (on his day) boost Derby’s attacking threat significantly.
Bristol City’s nervy draw against Ipswich Town last night has left the door to the Championship’s top six ajar for Derby County, invitingly. It is at this stage of the season when nerves kick in, on and off the pitch, and results more than performances are all important. Derby have taken four points from their last two games, much-needed after a run of three straight league defeats, A win tonight would take that to seven points from nine, and leave Frank Lampard’s team in a good position.”
Tom Ince returned to haunt his old club as he fired 10-man Stoke City to a 2-1 victory over Derby County.
Sam Clucas gave the Potters a first-half lead at the bet365 Stadium but the home side then had Peter Etebo sent off with around an hour still to play.
Harry Wilson levelled with another fine free kick early in the second half, only for Ince to hit a 64th-minute winner.
It gave Gary Rowett all three points on his first meeting with the club he left to take charge of Stoke in May.
As well as being a tough result for Derby to take, they also had skipper Curtis Davies carried off on a stretcher just before the break.
Derby have just moved into the play-off positions so they have a little bit extra to fight for, so it will be a tough game but so is every game in the Championship. We certainly won’t take it lightly and I can’t imagine Derby will either. There’s a lot of expectation about Derby, just as there is here.”
It is hard to comment on other clubs in any real detail because only the manager there knows,” said Lampard. “All you can say is that they (Stoke) did invest heavily in the summer and they had a relatively strong squad already. Again, it doesn’t mean anything but if you look at the individuals they have that can win games, then, yes, they are competing and you have to give the manager some time to try and make his imprint on the team. It doesn’t come overnight, but they are a team that at any moment in this league could go on a run of wins, and then see themselves in the hunt to move up the League quickly. We have seen it with many a team this year. No-one should be writing them off.”
Derby County were held to a goalless draw at Pride Park when they hosted Stoke City in their final game before the last international break.
In their third home game in eight days, the Rams had a handful of chances with Duane Holmes calling Jack Butland into action twice as well as Tom Huddlestone.
Young winger Jayden Mitchell-Lawson made his senior debut for the Rams, winning a free-kick in the final minute when he was hauled down on the edge of the box which Harry Wilson curled to strike to woodwork.
Tom Lawrence was back in the starting XI for Frank Lampards side for the first time since sustaining a foot injury against Ipswich Town in February to replace Mason Bennett who picked up an injury against Sheffield Wednesday last weekend.
Huddlestone struck first on seven minutes, calling Jack Butland into action. Lawrence drove into the box and his shot was deflected out to Huddlestone outside of the area who struck sweetly on the volley only to be denied by the England international stopper.
Inside 20 minutes, Derby had another chance to take the lead when a brilliant ball through from Martyn Waghorn found Holmes who drove forward, but his close-range effort was batted away by Butland.
The Potters keeper then provided a long ball down to former Ram, Tom Ince, who was held off well by Jayden Bogle. He managed to turn but his effort was wide.
Derby were awarded a free-kick on 26 minutes from the right of the area, which Wilson whipped in, it was half-cleared to Holmes who took a touch before rifling a shot towards the top right corner, but a stunning save by Butland again denied the Rams.
Following his goal last time out against Sheffield Wednesday, Bradley Johnson looked to add another just more than ten minutes into the second-half. After good build-up play, Huddlestone squared to his fellow midfielder outside the area who dragged a low shot inches wide.
With just less than 15 minutes left, Stoke struck the woodwork for their closest chance. A cross into the box was met by McClean, but he directed his header onto the post.
In the final minute, Mitchell-Lawson made a break and was hauled down right on the edge of the box by Ryan Shawcross. Wilson stood behind the ball and curled his free-kick effort onto the crossbar.
The Rams had to settle for a draw heading into a two and a half week break from Sky Bet Championship action with the international break.
Derby County: Roos; Bogle, Keogh (C), Tomori, Malone; Huddlestone, Johnson; Lawrence (Mitchell-Lawson, 82), Holmes, Wilson; Waghorn (Marriott, 71)
Stoke City: Butland; Edwards, Shawcross (C), Batt, Martins Indi; Allen, Woods (Fletcher, 84), Adam (Williams, 61); Ince, Afobe (Diouf, 45), McClean