Why Steve McClaren will be delighted with Ward's comments on penalty miss

Derby County West Stand

Jamie Ward has suggested adversity for Chris Martin against Cardiff inspired the whole side to push on for a win.

Derby County forward Jamie Ward has told the club’s website that he’s confident Chris Martin won’t be affected by his penalty miss over the weekend.

The Rams secured a 2-0 win away at Cardiff City on Saturday and Ward has suggested the penalty miss gave the entire side a kick they needed to push on and secure an important result.

“Sometimes a moment, like a penalty miss, gives you the little kick that you need,” said Ward.

“He has been so clinical for us from the spot this year, but it happens – You can’t let it rock you.”

Martin may be a little downhearted after the penalty miss, which followed a below par performance in the 2-0 win against Blackburn Rovers.

Martin has seen Darren Bent drafted in by the club but it’s important he doesn’t let his head drop and works hard to get back to his best form in a Derby shirt over the next few weeks.

Ward’s comments suggest that Martin’s teammates certainly weren’t going to allow the striker to take his foot off the gas after the penalty miss and that will be encouraging from Steve McClaren’s point of view.

It will be encouraging because the boss will see a team spirit and a determination to improve and step up a gear when something goes wrong for a teammate.

There's a togetherness, which is a trait that not all sides have, and Ward seems to stress Derby are keen to use any adversity as motivation in games to their advantage.

Derby remain well placed for an assault on promotion to the Premier League and Martin will play a key role if the Rams are going to pull it off.

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