Derby manager Gary Rowett has played down any talk of the annual ‘Derby wobble’ saying that his players are not feeling the pressure of the promotion race.
Kasey Palmer’s stoppage time goal earned Derby a point at home to Leeds, but the result leaves the Rams five points off second place Cardiff and winless in three games.
This had led to talk of Derby falling off in the promotion push, as they have done in the previous four seasons. However, Rowett was quick to point out that wasn’t the case this season.
He said: ”The problem we have as a club in my opinion, and I don’t know the answer apart from us getting promoted is that every game we draw, or every defeat is magnified massively because of the last four years. ”
”We lost against Sheffield Wednesday our first in 13 yet everyone started to talk about the February wobble that Derby start to have, I find it ridicules to be honest but what it does it put everyone on edge.”
This was highlighted near the latter stages of last night’s game, with supporters showing there anguish whenever Derby failed to create a real clear cut chance when looking for the equaliser. However, Rowett has assured them that they have nothing to worry about.
He said: ”If we were creating no chances and playing really poorly I would be concerned and really disappointed but the reality is that the first half is as well as we have played but you don’t score your chances you don’t win the game.”
Derby did have the control of the game, forcing 25 shots and having 57% possession. However, only four of those shots were on target, with David Nugent being guilty of missing two golden opportunities for the hosts. Next to Matej Vydra, Nugent is Derby’s top goalscorer, but has scored 12 less goals than the Czech Republic forward.
Rowett believes that if his team can stay composed and help out Vydra more they will be fine. ”. Last two games we’ve created more chances that we have done in the ten games previously but we’re not scoring from those chances and if I look at the moment the one thing I would urge of the players is to, you know Vydra on 18 goals, we need our second top scorer to be on more than six. That’s a reality, the players around Vydra just need to start to contribute more in terms of those finishes.”
Cardiff City’s win over Ipswich Town means that they have pulled clear of Derby and Aston Villa in the promotion battle, but Rowett believes that Derby have enough time to catch the Bluebirds.
He said: ”At this stage so we’ve got plenty of points to play for, all the teams to play, we play Cardiff, we play Fulham, we play all of those teams so the reality is that it’s going to be defined by some of those games against your rivals. There’s 39 points left but what we’ve got to start doing turning a dominate 40 minutes first half into two, three nil leads because that’s just the way it is at this stage.”
With 13 games still to play, Rowett will need to hope Derby can pick up their form and prove that the ‘Derby Wobble’ is in the distant pass.