Two pre-season friendlies since last Saturday saw Derby lose 3-1 at Mansfield and then cruise to a 3-0 home win v Southampton. I think the contrast in results fairly well sums up what pre-season is.
Saturday’s match was a good run out and the game was very one-sided. Tom Lawrence was again looking very sharp and his contribution of two goals will have done his chances of starting the opening fixture no harm at all.
It gave Rams fans the first chance to look at our trio of signings.
Mason Mount and Harry Wilson both showed flashes of the form that we will hope they’ll show when the season begins. Florian Jozefzoon made an appearance in the second half and it was his blocked shot that led to Mason Bennett scoring our third.
Max Lowe had a very impressive game and hopefully if he can stay clear of injury, he will be pushing for a start in the problem left back position.
Craig Bryson was very busy on and he could be like having another new signing should he remain in Frank Lampard’s plans! A fully fit Bryson brings energy to a team!
The big question mark that remains is over the centre forward position. Peterborough United manager Darragh McAnthony last week stated that Derby had made three bids for Jack Marriott and that the striker has a preference to join us, but the reality is that we will need to sell someone before that becomes a deal.
Bristol City also appear keen on Marriott so it’ll be interesting to see who is first to get a bid accepted.
There’s been other items of gossip and speculation. Stoke are said to be interested in Tom Lawrence, but would he want to play another season in the system that Gary Rowett uses? Many feel the defensive nature of Rowett was detrimental to Lawrence and restricted him from being allowed to play with any such freedom.
Whatever formation Lampard opts to play, it’s evident from these early friendlies that he was fast moving, attacking, flowing football. This is something that’s always gone down well with the Pride Park faithful. It’ll be interesting if the crowds go back up to the levels pre-Rowett. Despite the success in the results department, the fans were never in love with his style of play.