Christmas Period

 

Welcome back to our new surroundings at Derby as we look to turn them around from a struggling team to a team that can fight for the title/play offs. I had good first impressions from the boys in the first game under our reign as we beat a solid Brighton team comfortably. This season is all about finishing as high as we can and having more of a charge for the top places next season along with a summer of bringing in our own players. Exciting times ahead here as we are at a bigger team compared to Tranmere and one where we can again we trophies. We are now coming up to the Christmas period which is one of the toughest times in the season with little rest between games.

 

Barnsley – Away – League – 15th V 18th

A dominant first half from us but we just couldn’t get the goal to get the breakthrough. Johnson gives a penalty away early in the second half which Bradshaw converts by smashing it in to the top corner. Barnsley get a second in the final few minutes when Hourihane curls a free kick round the wall and in to the top corner to secure the 3 points.

 

Norwich – Home – League – 21st V 3rd

We take the lead in the 20 minute when Bryson plays Vydra through on goal to tuck it past the keeper. We double our lead a few minutes later when Thorne’s free kick takes a deflection to beat the keeper. A quiet second half wraps up the 3 points and bounced back from a poor result against Barnsley.

 

Wolves – Home – League – 17th V 9th

We take the lead in a bizarre way after a whipped ball in from Shotton beats everyone in the box and flies in to the goal at the far post. We get a second goal shortly before half time with Russell squaring it to Fyvie in the area to roll it home. We get a third thanks to Vydra when he gets on the end of a Olsson cross to poke it past the keeper.

 

Fulham – Home – League – 16th V 9th

A dominant performance from us from start to finish and we get the opening goal in the 10 minute when Thorne fires in from the edge of the area. Thorne gets his second of the game just before the half hour mark when a deflected free kick falls to him in the area to curl it past the keeper.

 

Burnley – Away – League – 21st V 13th

We get off to a great start when Russell gives us the lead inside 5 minutes after Lolley plays a ball over the top to him to curl it in to the bottom corner. Burnley level minutes later when they square the ball to Ulloa to tap in. We retake the lead when Gaman scores a header from a corner. We get a third just before half time with Vydra firing it in to the bottom corner after some lovely one touch passing leading to the goal. Russell makes it four when Johnson plays him through one v one to slot it under the keeper. Vydra makes it five late on when Olsson whips the ball in for him to head in at the near post. Vydra then gets his hat trick and a sixth goal for us minutes later with a 30 yard rocket.

 

Sunderland – Away – League – 3rd V 11th

Sunderland go in front after a shot rebounds off the bar and falls to their striker to tap in. They double their lead when a cross misses everyone and falls to Fraser on the corner of the area who controls it and fires past the keeper at his near post. We get a consolation late on when Weimann heads in from a ball in from Olsson.

 

Results:

results

Fixtures:

fixtures.png

Table:

table.png

 

Dan Guppy:

guppy

I forgot to mention this lad last time but he looks very good and is currently being tutored by Carson and I feel he will become our number one in the next few years as Carson is aging and will look to move him on before long.

 

We have dragged ourselves up from the relegation fight to sit about mid table with being 6 points from the play offs and 10 points from relegation it is still a close league. A slight blip against Barnsley and against Sunderland which is expected as they are a very good side but apart from that we have looked very good. We do have a small squad and a number of players are either wanting to leave or clubs are sniffing around them so I may have to sell but will try and hold on till the summer. Players like Vydra have asked to leave which isn’t a surprise as he has banged goals in and has looked amazing in our time here. We are looking good and could possibly get close to the play offs but ideally we will miss out and go again next season. We have some tough games coming up against teams below us and an FA cup game against Huddersfield to deal with.

 

 

Thanks for reading.

A Man On The Move

 

Welcome back to the blog as we look to maintain our good start to the season and punch above our weight as we look to continue the fight for the automatic places. We continue to play some very nice football and the results have come as a result. We have a top 3 game coming against Birmingham and could be massive come the end of the season.

 

Crewe – Home – Checkatrade Trophy Group B 

We get the breakthrough inside the opening 10 minutes with Ennis getting the goal. Boateng squares it to Ennis in the area to tap home. We get a second minutes later when Boateng has a go from the outside of the area and it takes a deflection to beat the keeper and go in. Crewe have a man sent off which gives us the edge and should mean we get the 3 points. Boateng gets his second after a one two with Enobakhare and fires it in to the back of the net.

 

Birmingham – Away – League – 3rd V 2nd

We get the opener in a tight 40 minutes after Gardner crosses to Ennis who is in the area to head it in. Nugent wraps up the win late on after receiving the ball from Ennis on the edge of the area to tuck it past the keeper.

 

Southend – Away – League – 13th V 2nd 

Enobakhare breaks the deadlock after the ball bounces around the 6 yard area from a corner and he reacts quickest to poke it in. We double our lead when Nyambe smashes the ball up field to Clarke-Harris to nod on to Ennis to fire past the keeper. Ennis gets a second when he gets on the end of a Nyambe cross to head in at the near post.

 

 

As you know we have done some amazing things with Tranmere and have got back to back promotions against the odds and have looked more than good enough in this league and we could and should get promotion to the Championship which is crazy to think where they should be but I won’t be here to find out as we have been offered a job in the Championship which some people probably won’t agree with and will question why I have left at this point of the season. Well as much as I have enjoyed my time at Tranmere I need to keep on moving up and be where I want to be I have to move on and take the next step to progress in my journey.

 

 

 

derby

 

We have joined Derby who are struggling in the Championship but still have a good enough team to be able to do something and in a year or two could get in to the Premier League. Yes I have left a team close to promotion to join a struggling team in the next league up but I feel being at Derby would give me a better chance moving forward than what Tranmere would in the long term. Maybe I will regret this decision and we will move on sooner rather than later or maybe this is the start of something we can be proud of. I have also brought in Brede Hangeland to continue being my assistant.

 

team.png

 

tactic.png

I will try and remain using my 4321 formation which was pretty successful at Tranmere and we have the players to make the tactic work. I am willing to change and will have a backup tactic as we still do have players like Ince at the club who is a very good player at this level and should be playing week in week out. We have some very good players but lack depth in some positions which we will look to sort once we have settled in.

 

Brighton – Home – League – 19th V 8th

We go in front inside 2 minutes after some nice build up play leads to Johnson chipping the ball to Shotton in the area to volley past the keeper. We get a second after Russell has a go from 30 yards which bounces off the bar on to the back of the keeper and Vydra is there to tap in. Vydra gets his second when Ince squares it to him on the edge of the area to smash in to the top corner.

 

Cup Draw

fa cup.png

 

 

Fixtures:

fixtures

Table:

table after game.png

 

 

So there we have it, I have left Tranmere to take up the challenge of Derby. Was it the right move? Should I have stayed? Only time will tell but we have started off well and beat a very strong Brighton team quite comfortably and they boys looked well in the 4321. We could still make the play offs but I would be happy to finish in the top half and we can build on from that next season. We have some very tough games coming up against most of the teams fighting for promotion. On to the next part of the journey….

 

 

 

Thanks for reading.

A Mixed Bag

 

Alright lads,

We are back at it in the league as we look to build on our strong start in the league as we come up against some strong teams in the next few games. We also have the chance to progress in a cup or two should we perform well and have luck on our side. We have played some of the best I have seen this team play.

 

Sheffield United – Home – League – 1st V 8th

Sheffield United get the winning goal late on in what was a tight game with neither team being able to create many clear goal scoring chances. They win a corner in the 87th minute which gets whipped in and Packwood is there to rise highest and head home giving them the 3 points.

 

Cup Draw

fa cup.png

 

Rotherham – Away – League – 22nd V 2nd

We go in front early on after a ball in to the box from Enobakhare hits their defender Nugent and the keeper is wrong footed and is unable to stop it from going in the net. Enobakhare turns goalscorer when he gets our second when he scores from the edge of the area after receiving the ball from a corner. We get a third when Kuhl scores just before half time with a rocket in to the top corner.

 

Bolton – Home – League – 2nd V 23rd

We had some good chances in the early stages to go in front but it wasn’t until the 34th minute when a goal came and it was for Bolton. A route one ball which gets knocked down to Agyei who takes a touch and smashes it in to the back of the net from outside the area. Agyei gets a second and wraps up the win for Bolton when he gets on the end of a whipped ball in from Taylor to head in to the back of the net, he looked in an offside position but the goal stands which was frustrating.

 

Weymouth – Home – FA Cup 1st Round

We get the opener courtesy of Clarke-Harris who gets on the end of a ball in from Clarke to head in to the bottom corner with the keeper getting a slight hand to it. He gets a second of the game with a volley from just inside the area clipping the underside of the bar as it goes in. Weymouth get a foot back in the game when they score a free header in to an empty goal after Zabret comes for the free kick and misses it leaving an open goal. Le Fondre makes it three when he pokes the ball in at the near post after Clarke squares it to him on the 6 yard line.

 

Cup Draw

fa cup 2.png

 

Oxford – Away – League – 7th V 3rd

Oxford are gifted the lead midway in the first half when Nyambe heads a cross in to his own net when he had time to control it and clear it. Enobakhare pulls us level minutes later with a nice finish in to the bottom corner after a quick one two with Kuhl. We take the lead when Kuhl fires the ball in from 30 yards. We get a third when Clarke-Harris curls it in to the bottom corner from just inside the area.

 

Luton – Home – League – 2nd V 6th

We take the lead in the first half when Enobakhare scores a volley from the edge of the area taking a deflection on the way in after receiving the ball from a corner. Luton get an equaliser when they get a free kick to the right of the goal. They curl it round the wall and under the goalkeeper. Luton take the lead after our defender slips near the area and Taylor is there to rob the ball and slot it past the keeper. Le Fondre gets us level after we counter from a Luton free kick and Shephard squares to him to tuck home.

 

Results:

results

Fixtures:

fixtures

Table:

table

 

We are still playing well despite a couple of blips against Sheffield United and Bolton which are kind of expected, even if Bolton were managerless at the time! We had an easy cup game against Weymouth and most of the side was rotated and they played well (granted it was against a non league team) which earned Clarke-Harris a run in the side which he has took with both hands after Hugill got injured and is out for the season and our other strikers not banging them in and a player we was after turned us down who could of been our goalscorer. We are still on course to have a good season and are really punching above our weight by sitting second in the league.

 

 

Thanks for reading.

Early Contenders?

 

Alright lads,

Welcome back to the blog as we continue to play well and stay in and around the play offs. We were unlucky to lose against Leicester in our last game but we put in a good performance and hopefully that won’t knock our confidence going in to the next few games.

 

Signings

Stefan Scougall:

scougall.png

Craig Gardner:

gardner.png

 

Scunthorpe – Away – League – 8th V 4th

We make the breakthrough early in the first half. A corner gets knocked down by Hugill to Enobakhare who fires in from close range. We score a second when Enobakhare goes on a solo run beating player after player and squaring it to Ennis to tap in on the 6 yard line. We win a penalty after a counter attack after Ennis was hacked down in the box which Nugent converted straight down the middle. Scunthorpe pull one back when they square it to the edge of the area and tucks it in to the bottom corner. Scunthorpe then get a second in injury time after a cross falls to their striker to poke in.

 

Colchester – Home – League – 2nd V 22nd

We get the only goal in the game in which we dominated from start to finish and one in which we should of scored more goals. We get the goal just before half time when we had some brilliant build up play leading to Enobakhare laying it off to Hugill to fire under the keeper.

 

MK Dons – Away – League – 4th V 3rd

MK Dons score first with a brilliant free kick in to the top corner giving the keeper no chance of stopping it. We get back in to the game late on with a much deserved goal when Kuhl plays it to Scougall on the edge of the area to smash it in after taking a deflection on the way. We come away with a point in one of our toughest games yet this season.

 

Liverpool U’23’s – Home – Checkatrade Trophy Group B

We win an early penalty after one of our players gets pushed over inside the area at a free kick. Le Fondre steps up and cooly puts it in to the bottom corner. We get a second after Adams flicks on free kick to Satka to head home at the back post. A well desrved win meaning we win the group and progress in to the next round.

 

Shrewsbury – Home – League – 2nd V 6th

Enobakhare puts us in front after he receives the ball from a corner and smashes it through a number of players in to the bottom corner. Satka doubles our lead late on when Clarke-Salter flicks the ball on from a corner to Satka who is open at the back post to tap in.

 

Northampton – Away – League – 15th V 1st

We score in the opening couple of minutes when Kuhl gets in to the are and curls it past the keeper in to the far post. Le Fondre scores our second when Adams plays him through and shoots first time and it flies in to the bottom corner. Northampton get one back after poor defending with a header back to the keeper being to short and Samuel taking advantage and putting it past the keeper at his near post. They get an equalizer after a cross falls to their player at the near post and pokes it in to take a share of the points.

 

 

Results:

results.png

Fixtures:

fixtures

Table:

table.png

 

WE ARE TOP OF THE LEAGUE! WE’RE GONNA WIN THE LEAGUE! Bit early? We are continuing to play well and dominate games but we do seem to lack that killer instinct in some games and are unable to finish teams off but saying that we do currently sit top of the pile. We have brought in a couple of players just help boost the numbers where we were a little light. Scougall looks very average but his stats are far better than Enobakhare’s and is a nice back up to him. We also have brought in Gardner. He is only here till the end of the season and has plenty of experience in higher leagues. We have some tough games coming up in the next dew games along with an FA Cup game which in theory should be an easy result.

 

 

Thanks for reading.

Goals Goals Goals!

 

Alright lads,

We are back from a crazy cup game against West Ham which we came from behind to win in injury time. We now return to league action with also a game in the Checkatrade Trophy and the next round of the EFL away at Leicester! Hopefully we can kick on from that and have a good start to the season to build upon.

 

Charlton – Home – League – 9th V 18th

Hugill gets us off to a good start when he gets on the end of a ball from Kuhl and he has time to control and place it past the keeper. Ennis doubles our lead with a powerful strike from the edge of the area which flies in to the top corner. Charlton pull one back early in the second half with a tidy finish in to the bottom corner. They get the equalizer after they pass through our defence and curl it past the keeper from just inside the area.

 

Carlisle – Away – Checkatrade Trophy – 1st V 4th

Carlisle get the opening goal when they score at the second attempt after our keeper got down well to save the first effort. We get the equalizer with Nyambe getting on the end of a whipped ball in from Forster-Caskey and heads it home. Le Fondre puts us in front just before half time when he tucks it past the keeper from inside the area. Carlisle pull level seconds in to the second half when a mix up in defence leaves them free to score in the 6 yard box. They get a third after our keeper comes out and misses the ball and they poke it in to an empty goal. Carlisle get a fourth with a headed finish from a free kick in to the bottom corner. Kiwomya pulls one back for us when he runs in to the box and fires past the keeper at his near post. We get a late equalizer after we win a penalty which Nugent steps up and converts straight down the middle. We win the game on penalties.

 

Swindon – Away – League – 1st V 11th

We score first with Satka rising highest at a corner and heading in to the back of the net. Le Fondre gets our second after Forster-Caskey squares it to him on the edge of the box and he smashes it past the keeper in to the top corner. Forster-Caskey then turns goal scorer when he scores a 30 yard screamer in to the top corner leaving the keeper no chance. Trotter gets a fourth when he tucks it home from close range.

 

Bradford – Home – League – 4th V 10th

We take the lead minutes before half time with Forster-Caskey squaring the ball to Hugill who fires it in. Bradford have a penalty saved which turned the tide in the game and gave us more momentum. Kuhl gets our second with a curling free kick in to the top corner to wrap up the points.

 

Rochdale – Away – League – 21st V 3rd

Enobakhare gets the opening goal when he curls it past the keeper in to the far corner from just inside the area. Kuhl scores our second when he scores from 30 yards taking a slight deflection on the way to beat the keeper. Rochdale get a foot in the game with a goal around the half hour mark, scoring from the edge of the area. Rochdale get the equalizer from inside when they poke it under the keeper.

 

Leicester – Away – EFL Cup 3rd Round

We take a shock lead when their defender heads a cross in to his own goal. Leicester pull level with an effort rebounding off the post and falling to Niang to score in to an empty goal. Ennis gets a second for us shooting from inside the area which sneaks under the keeper in to the back of the net. Leicester equalize again scoring from a penalty which they put in to the bottom corner. Leicester get the winning goal in extra time when they cross a ball in to the box to Okazaki who pokes it in.

 

 

Results:

results

Fixtures:

fixture

Table:

table.png

 

 

We are in good form and are playing superbly. We put up a massive fight against Leicester and were unlucky to lose and on another day could of beat them. We are up in the play off places and were briefly top of the league during a game but we bottled it. We are still dominating a majority of our games which says something about the quality of players we have and how they fit the system we are playing. I am feeling more confident about the season as we go on beating teams and playing some good football. The only negative is we are still conceding sloppy goals which is annoying but we will sort the problem out over the season.

 

 

Thanks for reading.

 

 

Start Of The Season

 

Alright lads,

We are begin our campaign in League 1 and it will be a long season but I am confident we can have a good season. We have done well in the transfer market and with the squad looking stronger we can compete against most of the teams in this league. It’s to early to know but after a fairly good season the players are fit and ready for the season to start.

 

 

Transfers

Lubomir Satka:

satka

Jordan Hugill:

hugill.png

Ryan Nyambe:

nyambe.png

 

 

Wycombe – Home – League – 21st V 23rd

Ennis breaks the deadlock in the 3rd minute after Boateng plays him through and he fires it across the keeper in to the far corner. Kuhl makes it two with a beautiful free kick which curled in to the top corner. Wycombe pull one back going one v one with the keeper and scoring at the second attempt after our keeper saved the first attempt with his legs. They equalize in the final 10 minutes when they pull the ball back across the box to tap in.

 

Derby – Away – EFL Cup 1st Round

We capitalized on our pressure in the first half when we score just before half time. Kuhl plays it across the 6 yard line to Ennis who tucks it home. A solid second half performance means we kept them away from our goal and go through to the next round. We could of wrapped up the win late on to be more comfortable but the keeper pulled off a great save.

 

Cup Draw

cup draw

 

 

Crawley – Away – League – 23rd V 10th

Ennis gets us off to a good start when gets on the end of a ball over the top from Adams and cooly slots it past the keeper. Satka concedes a penalty which they convert in to the bottom corner. Crawley go in front early in the second half heading in from a free kick. They score a third and a copy of the second when they score a header from a free kick.

 

Burton – Home – League – 21st V 15th

Kiwomya gets our opener after a short free kick gets played to Le Fondre who squares it to Kiwomya to place it in to the empty goal. A dominant performance from start to finish and a game where we should of got more had their keeper not had a good game.

 

Bury – Away – League – 22nd V 14th

An even first half with both teams having good chances to go in front and goals disallowed. Hugill gets the opening goal seconds in to the second half. Enobakhare chips it in to Hugill in the box to fire past the keeper. Ennis doubles our lead when he turns on the edge of the box and curls it past the keeper. Ennis then gets his second of the game after getting on to a 30 yard pass from Hugill to poke it under the keeper. Bury pull one back after an error in defence gave them the chance to shoot in to an empty goal. We get a fourth in injury time when Forster-Caskey plays a shirt free kick to Lafferty who smashes it home.

 

West Ham – Away – EFL Cup 2nd Round

Carroll gets the first goal with a typical headed finish from a corner. Benteke equalizes when he scores a volley from the edge of the area. Lanzini gets a second when he scores from a free kick which flew in to the top corner. Carroll gets their third with the help of a deflection from our keeper. Hugill gets our second when Ennis squares it to him and he tucks it in to the bottom corner. Nugent equalizes late on when he fires it past the keeper from the edge of the area. Ennis gets our fourth in injury time beating a defender and curling it in to the bottom corner to come back and defeat West Ham.

 

Cup Draw

cup draw 2

 

Results:

results

Fixtures:

fixtures

Table:

table.png

 

We have made a good start to the season along with two wins in the cup against strong Derby and West Ham sides. We have been the better side in every game we have played so far and have dominated a couple of games. We currently sit inside the top 10 after 4 games and I would like to stay around there for the season but there is a long way to go. We are in talks to possibly bring in a couple of players to fill gaps but I’m in no rush to make signings for the sake of it. We have also been approached from another club regards becoming their manager but it is highly doubtful we will get the job.

 

 

 

Thanks for reading.

Season 3 – Pre Season

 

Alright lads,

We are back and we are preparing for life in League 1 which I feel will be a long hard season against some strong sides. This is just a quick update as to what has happened during pre season and we start the league action in the next blog. It has been a pretty busy summer with ins and outs which was expected. So let’s go through our new signings and see how we did in our pre season games.

 

 

Transfers

transfers

Danny Lafferty:

lafferty

Jonathan Benteke:

benteke.png

Aaron Kuhl:

kuhl

Hiram Boateng:

boateng

Josh Clarke:

clarke

Jake Clarke-Salter:

jcs

Sean Kavanagh:

kavanagh

Nick Townsend:

townsend.png

We have have brought in some good players who also have time to get better. I feel our midfield has improved massively with the signings we have made this summer. It has been hard to bring in players when we have one arm behind our back with so little space to manoeuvre in the market financially, along with players choosing other clubs over us. We have also managed to keep Ennis, Enobakhare and Dowling on loan for another season which I am over the moon about. I did bring in some players on trial but none of them proved themselves to earn a contract.

Pre Season

Fixtures:

pre season

Results:

results.png

Overall it has been a good pre season as it’s all about getting the lads up to full fitness and ready for the season. I never bother that much about pre season games as I have said before but on a side note it is good to see a number of different goalscorers. We have tried a couple of tactics over the pre season and they seem to be working fine and the players have adapted to them fantastically.

league

Here is the league table and as you can see there are a number of strong sides who are to big for this division and should lock out the top 6 places. I am happy to take anything but to get relegated straight back down. We have a good enough squad I feel to finish around mid table which is a solid base to build upon next season should we achieve what we are aiming for.

preview.png

The preview of the season are putting as finishing around 12th which is better than what I expected when we got promoted so it proves our squad is strong and the players we have brought in and will bring in has only improved the team. 33-1 to win the league? I don’t see why we can’t win it……!

fixtures

efl cup.png

So as we turn to the season opener at home to Wycombe the EFL first round was drawn and we are away to Derby. It will be a hard but winnable game but I think I may try and concentrate on the league this season over the league games.

team.png

I think this is my starting 11 and my strongest line up at the current moment. We are still one or two signings away from the squad being as string as we can make it and being truly happy with it. We do need more depth in some positions but this is what we are starting with and we can be competitive with these boys.

Thanks for reading and let’s get ready for the league!