McClaren slams sorry Rams

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Tim Ever­shed

DAR­REN Bent’s late equaliser res­cued a point for Derby but boss Steve McClaren still laid into his sloppy side.

Derby have now man­aged just one win in their last nine matches to leave their top-six hopes in tat­ters.

They fell be­hind to Alex Pritchard’s first-half curler and were com­fort­ably sec­ond best for much of this con­test.

McClaren said: “We made more mis­takes in one home game than all the other home games. No one will be more crit­i­cal than me of the per­for­mance. We have to be bet­ter than that.

“I am not mak­ing ex­cuses but that was the only fit back four we had.

“We have not won for a while, we know why. We won at Wi­gan but we didn’t play any foot­ball, we fought for that. Peo­ple ex­pected us to have con­fi­dence and be­lief back but we are not in good nick. I would be very dis­ap­pointed if I was Brent­ford go­ing home. We stayed in the game and showed enough char­ac­ter. We got a bit of luck and any­one who was watch­ing us over a pe­riod of time would know we de­served it.”

McClaren made only one change from the win at Wi­gan as the suspended Will Hughes was re­placed by Craig Bryson in mid­field. His faith was not re­paid though and af­ter a bright open­ing when Tom Ince twice forced David But­ton into ac­tion Derby faded alarm­ingly.

The Bees mid­field dom­i­nated with Toumani Di­agouraga play­ing the hold­ing role to per­fec­tion while Pritchard and Alan Judge picked holes in Derby’s makeshift de­fence.

The three were in­volved in a su­perb goal with Di­agouraga pick­pock­et­ing Jeff Hen­drick and Judge set­ting Pritchard away. The Spurs loa­nee cut in­side and curled a su­perb shot right into the bot­tom cor­ner.

Un­sur­pris­ingly, McClaren changed things at the in­ter­val. On came Simon Dawkins in place of the in­ef­fec­tive Johnny Rus­sell and his side re­verted to a more familiar 4-3-3 shape with Ince push­ing for­ward be­hind the strik­ers.

It had limited im­pact though and the Bees made a suc­ces­sion of chances to kill the match off. On a dif­fer­ent day An­dre Gray might have had a hat-trick and with­out Craig Forsyth’s in­ter­ven­tion he al­most cer­tainly would have scored at least one.

Bees skip­per Jonathan Dou­glas in­ad­ver­tently pre­vented him get­ting to an­other golden op­por­tu­nity while his late header bal­looned over.

Hav­ing spurned their chances the vis­i­tors were made to pay as Bent showed his poacher’s in­stinct to latch on to Hen­drick’s shot and fire in from close range.

And Brent­ford boss Mark War­bur­ton did not hide his dis­plea­sure at his team’s in­abil­ity to kill the match off.

He said: “There have been heated words said in the dress­ing room but that shows you how far we’ve come to come here and only get the one point against Derby and be dis­ap­pointed.

“We’ve got where we are by play­ing the game our way and we should have been two or three up. We dealt with their threat and we played good foot­ball and they had to change their for­ma­tion.We kept our width and played well.

“It was a pro­fes­sional show­ing from the play­ers and they are win­ners. They are a re­ally good set of play­ers and they now have four games to go and then we’ll see where we are.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

POINT MADE: Derby County’s Dar­ren Bent pokes in a vi­tal equaliser in the closing stages

scores SPURRED ON: Alex Pritchard

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