Derby County were victims of a ‘smash and grab’ on Saturday afternoon as Gary Rowett’s Millwall left Pride Park with all three points courtesy of a Shaun Hutchinson header.

Louie Watson featured for half an hour of the Rams’ 1-0 defeat; he was part of a double substitution in the 60th minute in which himself and Patrick Roberts replaced George Edmundson and Jason Knight.

The 19-year-old was unable to impact the scoreline, however, impressed manager Wayne Rooney and supporters alike in his fifth cameo of the season.

Also praising Roberts, Rooney stated that he was ‘pleased’ with the pair.

“I brought Louie Watson and Patrick Roberts on in the early stages of the second-half to be a bit more creative and make chances.

Coventry City v Derby County - Sky Bet Championship
Jamie Allen of Coventry City shields the ball from Louie Watson of Derby County during the Sky Bet Championship match between Coventry City and Derby County at St Andrews, Birmingham on Saturday 6th March 2021. (Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Derby boss added: “They’re prepared to take more risks, and I was pleased with how they affected the game.”

 

Watson was unfortunate not to have made an instant impact against the Lions when he set up Kamil Jozwiak in the 67th minute.

A slick pass by the teen had caught out the Millwall defence, but within point-blank range of goal Jozwiak bizarrely opted to try and tee up a teammate instead of taking the shot himself, quickly ending any chance of an equaliser.

Watson also earned praise for his midweek substitute appearance against Barnsley, again from both Rooney and the supporters, so much so that onlookers are now calling for the Croydon-born starlet to start.

Clearly a player well received by supporters at the moment, could we see Watson feature from the start in Derby’s next match?

The Rams face high-flying Brentford on Tuesday evening, given the current form of both sides it will certainly be an uphill battle if Rooney’s men are not to drop points against the Bees.

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