Derby County’s play-off chances have gone after Nottingham Forest loss

Martyn Waghorn, who missed a golden chance for Derby at Nottingham Forest last night. (PHOTO BY: Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Martyn Waghorn, who missed a golden chance for Derby at Nottingham Forest last night. (PHOTO BY: Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Since my last column, Derby have carried on what seemss to be a tradition in February and suffered two losses.

Millwall on Wednesday was an embarrassing display where we failed to muster one shot on goal until the 92nd minute. The bigger loss, though, came last night in Nottingham.

Our nearest rivals beat us for the first time in seven attempts in a scrappy game in which they scored in under two minutes and kept us at bay for the rest of the game.

Martyn Waghorn did have a golden opportunity to level things up, but put the ball wide when he had a one-on-one with Costel Pantilimon. Had that gone in, the pattern of the game may have changed, but the reality of it is that our hosts were very well organised in defence and midfield and looked like they could soak up anything we could throw at them all night.

Our attack has been the main failing over the last three league games and, to be honest, it’s now getting to a stage of wondering when we will score again. People can moan all they want about Waghorn or Jack Marriott not coming up with the goods but, being truthful, the service to them is woefully poor.

Harry Wilson has gone off the boil in the last half dozen games and although we have been missing Mason Mount, we have enough experienced pros to do far better. The players at the moment are letting the fans down.

It always seems to happen in February, the time the early-bird season-ticket packs are sent out. I haven’t been given a figure of how many fans are season-ticket holders this season despite asking the club. But it seems to me the figure is well down on last season. If it is, you ask why? Although our matchday pricing leaves a lot to be desired, our season tickets are reasonably priced. Are we now getting to the stage where only the hardcore fans are buying?

There’s been disappointment now for a few seasons and perhaps some have had enough. However, a true fan will go to every match that they can, irrespective of form I remember last time we were promoted, the queues around the stadium for season tickets. Some will jump on the bandwagon when things are going well, but they are just as fast jumping off when times aren’t so good. We need all fans to do their bit and go to as many matches as possible.

As for the play-off chances, I think that they are gone. Yes, we are only two points off them, but I see the current top six staying there, although it may be in a different order of finish.

Next up, we travel to Villa Park against a team that beat us 3-0 at Pride Park. I’ve heard many fans fearing another shellacking, but wouldn’t it just be the Derby way to go there and win?