Derby County host Sheffield Wednesday in midweek and manager Phillip Cocu must consider making changes following another disappointing defeat on the road.
The Rams head into their game against the Owls coming off a 1-0 defeat at Blackburn Rovers. It was Derby’s fifth straight away defeat without scoring a goal.
Derby tried to nullify Blackburn and restrict them, lining up in a wingback system. For the large part, Phillip Cocu’s side succeeded. Blackburn didn’t create much. However, they still scored via Adam Armstrong’s wonderful strike from the edge of the area.
But the system equally restricted Derby going forward. The Rams managed just one shot on target in the entire game, which came from Jack Marriott’s 94th minute effort.
Cocu has been limited with options. Injuries, poor form and individual mistakes have been costly. But he should go back to basics against Sheffield Wednesday.
Here are three changes the Dutchman must make against the Owls:
Jayden Bogle returns to right-back:
The talented fullback has played the last two games in a more advanced role. It just hasn’t worked out for Bogle, with his positional sense and uncertainty telling.
Bogle’s success comes from attacking from deep. Last season, he posted two goals and eight assists. On the overlap, he was a menace and offered so much.
On the wing, however, he is quickly closed down by the opposing fullback and his attacking game is nullified. Derby lose so much by moving him out of position.
Max Lowe must return to the starting eleven:
While there isn’t much to choose from between left-backs Scott Malone and Max Lowe right now, the latter needs more game-time to help aid his development.
Lowe has the greater potential, and he was harshly dropped this past week.
Derby arguably put in their best performance to date in the 2-0 win over Middlesbrough.
The Rams started that day with two upfront. They followed that up at Nottingham Forest. Despite losing, they had seven efforts on goal and looking an attacking threat.
But for some reason, Phillip Cocu has since moved away from it. Tom Lawrence has returned to his ineffective state out wide, while Martyn Waghorn struggles on his own.
Derby have three striker options in Chris Martin, Waghorn and £5 million 2018 signing Jack Marriott. The latter has scored just once this season. He’s far better than that, but without the extra support, he will continue to struggle off the poor service given to him.
Also see: £5m Frank Lampard signing must show more to warrant Derby starts
Also see: Cocu must make a decision on Derby’s £10m player after another poor showing