The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Jamie Holt

CYRUS Christie be­came one of the fall guys for Derby’s cat­a­strophic im­plo­sion at the end of last sea­son and, as he looks to re­build this term, the de­fender ac­knowl­edges that the crit­i­cism was war­ranted.

Derby’s col­lapse from ap­par­ent pro­mo­tion cer­tain­ties to miss­ing the play-offs has been well-doc­u­mented, with Christie com­ing in for par­tic­u­larly harsh crit­i­cism.

And the right-back ad­mits it was tough to take.

“Last sea­son the con­fi­dence was low,” he ex­plained. “The team took a knock and I took a lot of flak.

“But I de­served the flak be­cause I wasn’t re­ally at it.”

It hasn’t been all rosy for Christie since, with the 22year-old be­ing dropped for new boss Paul Cle­ment’s first game in charge.

He has faced a bat­tle for a first-team spot ever since, but the Re­pub­lic of Ire­land in­ter­na­tional is try­ing to take the pos­i­tives out of the sit­u­a­tion.

“I have played games and then been out of the team and it has been hard, I can’t lie,” added Christie.“My head has been all over the place, but it is part of my de­vel­op­ment and when the op­por­tu­ni­ties are given I have to take them.”

FALL GUY: Cyrus Christie

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