Nigel Clough had to suffer the ignominy of losing his first match in charge of Derby County. Clough was appointed the Rams` new manager only a fortnight ago, just before they played Manchester United in the 1st leg of the Carling Cup Semi-Final. For that game, Clough was a spectator; he was hoping to cut his teeth as Rams` manager in the league game away to Cardiff City last weekend. But the freezing weather put paid to that!
So yesterday, Clough sent out his side for the first time, and they were found wanting as QPR won 2-0. Clough spoke openly and honestly about this defeat.
“It was disappointing in many ways with the goals we conceded and there were a lot of basic things wrong today,” he told dcfc.co.uk.
Clough admitted that the way the team played confirmed his thoughts, based on what he had witnessed on the training pitch:
“We didn`t so much learn as confirm a few things we thought from seeing the lads over the last week ? There are a few frightened players in the dressing room, which is a result of the last 18 months, and they have got to get it out of the system somehow.”
It seems that it will be back to the basics for Clough when the team return to training this week:
“Today there was a lack of people doing the basic things well and doing their jobs. We can encourage, we can point them in the right direction, and we will be pointing out the basic things not done right today,” he confirmed.
Clough gave details of the type of errors he thought his players were making, when speaking to BBC.co.uk/Sport:
“The strikers have to hold the ball which they didn`t do for the first 45 minutes of the game.
“Both goals came from our possession. The centre halves have to defend better than they did today. The full backs have to stop crosses and the wide men have to go wide when we have the ball. Not many of those things happened today,” he admitted honestly.
“We are just trying to get them to be more positive. There was a lot of backward play and backward passes.
“I thought the centre halves were too deep today. There was no real pace up the middle. I can`t remember us making it up to the half-way line too often,” he added.
Clough did feel that Derby had moments during yesterday`s game, particularly in the opening period, when they maybe should have done better with their possession:
“In both halves we started OK but we let them off the hook a bit, and we had half-chances in the ten or 15 minutes.
“We could have done with a goal in that period but from their first serious attack they scored on the break.”
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