McClaren slams sorry Rams
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.”
POINT MADE: Derby County’s Darren Bent pokes in a vital equaliser in the closing stages
scores SPURRED ON: Alex Pritchard