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  • Writer's pictureDan Dodd

Derby Need Consistency

Derby County are one of England’s most historic clubs, and after 2 years of hardship involving near-extinction, the club find themselves battling it out again in League One after last year’s fall at the death.

The Rams had their transfer embargo lifted ahead of this season, which allowed the club to slowly start bringing in players of a higher quality. Although the expenditure must still be monitored, Paul Warne has been able to use his summer to craft a squad full of youth and much needed experience, in order to give the Rams every chance of bouncing back...

It was the famous Derby County new-year slump that all fans could say cost the club a spot in the playoffs, at the back end of last season. Inconsistency in results and dropping points against teams they should of (on paper) been beating, left the club with it all to do as they travelled to Hillsborough on the final day of the 2022/23 season - requiring a helping hand from other teams to have a chance of making the playoffs...

The 2023/24 League One season is now however fully underway, and it has been an indifferent start for Derby. Arguably not as successful as the club would have liked or expected. Paul Warne has had a very successful transfer window, on paper. Although lost a number of key players, too. For example: Talented midfielder, Jason Knight, to Bristol City, and top goal scorer and talisman David McGoldrick, who re-joined his boyhood club Notts County. The former Rotherham boss did however acquired proven Championship experience in Sonny Bradley, Curtis Nelson, and Rams favourite - Martyn Waghorn, who re-joined the club after a successful trial.

The East Midlands outfit currently sit eighth in the League One standings, one point behind the final playoff spot - but still have two games in hand over other sides in the league... Unbeaten in their last four, the team is starting to gel and bring in some much-needed points on the board.

Paul Warne knows League One, having successfully taken Rotherham United up to the Championship, on two different occasions. The loss of David McGoldrick during the off season, who added 22 league goals for the Rams last season, was a huge blow. James Collins had a relatively quiet year last season which meant the fans were hopeful of another proven striker entering the door. Warne added Conor Washington and Martyn Waghorn, as well as Arsenal loanee Tyreece John-Jules, who had a successful spell with the League One champions Ipswich Town last season. However, goals have still been the issue in games this season.

The start of this season saw Paul Warne opt for a 3-5-2 formation, with a plethora of experience in the heart of the defence and across the midfield. It seemed an ideal start for the Rams, with two defeats and three wins, two of which came away from home. As September has come and gone, it’s been the low scoring wins or 'boring draws' that have made Rams fans question Warnes ability and trust in being able to take the club up. Fans felt the negative style of play being brought upon the Rams was the lack of attacking options, with a defensive style being prioritised. The switch to 4-2-3-1 and a counter attacking style away from home has made Derby a much better free flowing football team.

It’s still early days but things are looking up for Derby County. Most football fans have said League One is slightly weaker than last season, and with Derby being up there with one of the better squads, form heading into the festive period will need to be consistent. The holes are still clear in the current squad and it’s likely Paul Warne will want to recruit reinforcements in the all-important January transfer window, so the Rams can go into the back end of the season strongly. It feels like automatic promotion is a long way off, with the strong starts Portsmouth and Oxford United have had, but football can be an unpredictable game, and a good run can change the league table completely...

What do you think, Rams fans?

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