ANDY BUCKLEY-TAYLOR’S DERBY COUNTY BLOG: Judge the side after ‘eight to 10 games’

Well the opening round of matches of the 2013/14 Football season are now over and Derby County started with a 1-1 draw against Blackburn Rovers.

As usual social media was full of fans stating what was good and bad about the performance, yet as we all know it will take eight to 10 games before we can really make a judgement on how strong or weak our side is.

The game itself was a tough opening game for the club and it’s fair to say that our visitors were the better side in the opening half hour.

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Fortunately when chances fell to them they were missed or Lee Grant was equal to them. By the way, it’s great to see Granty back in a Rams shirt.

Russell did look sharp up front, however, I would like him to be played solely in a central role rather than going out on the wing.

Jamie Ward also spent the majority of the game playing down the left wing and in my opinion he us much better playing in the middle.

We can’t grumble at the result and Blackburn did deserve something from the game.

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Midfield is again posing problems, however, it’s not through lack of quality. On the contrary, we have an abundance of talent in that position. What Nigel Clough really needs to do though is play the best combination of players. It’s understandable that with Bryson, Hughes and Hendrick all being very good players, choosing who to leave out may give the manager a headache, but width needs to be added and for me that’s bringing in players like Michael Jacobs and Paul Coutts.

Will Hughes demonstrated why so many top flight clubs are tracking him. If we still have him at the end of the transfer window then I think we are a very lucky set of supporters. In my opinion he will be playing Premier League football sooner rather than later, and unless we get promoted this season it won’t be with Derby County.

Looking ahead, we visit Oldham in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night and then it’s down to the south coast on Saturday where another tough looking fixture against Brighton awaits us.