Derby County’s trip across the A50 ended in misery as Stoke, who played two thirds of the match with 10 men, managed a 2-1 victory that gave Gary Rowett victory over his old club last night.
Rams fans had made their feelings known to our former manager throughout the game, but he ended up having the last laugh for the time being.
It was a very poor display at the Bet 365 (what an awful name) Stadium and the weaknesses in the team were exposed.
At present we are struggling defensively. Scott Carson has been a little off form and the full back positions are giving fans a little cause for concern.
It’s only natural that a youngster like Jayden Bogle will have some bad games. Until the arrival of Frank Lampard he had never played for the first team.
Derby did dominate possession, but they failed to capitalise on it.
Our goal came from a superbly taken free kick by Harry Wilson, but our attack seemed very weak at times and Jack Marriott was having to live off scraps.
Despite the frustration of losing, we have to take several factors into account.
Stoke City have been splashing out millions to build a team to get them on a return journey to the Premier League.
They have an England goalkeeper and an array of talent that, despite costing millions more than the Derby side, also has a lot more experience.
Gary Rowett will be under a lot of pressure as they had up to this point of the season been very poor overall.
Many of their fans have, week after week, complained about Rowett’s style of play and their patience is being tested.
For the money spent, Stoke should be challenging for automatic promotion - but they are not.
They may well climb the table as the season goes on, but they aren’t anything special under Rowett.
Derby have had to sell to buy and Lampard has had to use his contacts to bring in some good quality loans.
He has accepted the challenge that Gary Rowett left behind.
For Lampard to have had a successful first season, anywhere near the play-offs will be excellent.
For Rowett anything less than promotion will be seen as failure and he is yet to have any achievements on his CV.
So we need to dust ourselves off and prepare for the visit of Swansea on Saturday and not waste too much time dwelling on last night’s game.