Blackburn Rovers midfielder Bradley Johnson and Bristol City striker Chris Martin have scored more goals at Pride Park since March 2020 than any current Derby County player.

The Rams suffered their seventh defeat of the campaign as they lost 2-0 to Barnsley.

The defeat leaves Phillip Cocu’s side bottom of the Championship table, having scored just one goal from open play in 11 Championship games to date.

Derby County v Watford - Sky Bet Championship

(Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images).

It has been a shocking start and one which may cost Cocu his job.

But on reflection, the warning signs were there during the summer. After winning their opening three games post lockdown, the Rams went into freefall.

Defeats to West Bromwich Albion, Cardiff City, Brentford and Leeds United raised questions of the squad quality, while Derby’s muddled pre-season left them open to a slow start.

Derby have lacked intensity, organization and control this season. But the biggest worry is a distinct lack of quality in the final third highlighted by a bizarre record.

Since March 2020, the Rams have managed to score just six goals at Pride Park. Jason Knight (1), Tom Lawrence (1), Wayne Rooney (1) and Martyn Waghorn (1).

 

The other two came from Chris Martin who since joined Bristol City on a free transfer.

Fellow former Rams player Bradley Johnson, meanwhile, scored twice during Blackburn’s 4-0 thrashing over Derby in September while Said Benrahma also has two.

Incredibly, two former Derby players still lead the Pride Park scoring charts post lockdown, ahead of players like Lawrence and Waghorn who cost the Rams a combined £10 million.

(Photo by George Wood/Getty Images).

Is it possible that Derby’s forwards just aren’t of top Championship quality? Or do they suffer from a lack of service? Arguably, it’s a bit of both.

Either way, the decision to not renew Chris Martin’s contract is coming back to haunt Derby and it seems manager Phillip Cocu is powerless to stop the rot.

Also see: ‘False position’: Championship rivals offers Derby hope ahead of Barnsley clash

Also see: Report suggests key factor preventing Derby sacking Cocu following Mel Morris talks

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