Paul Simpson: What changed for Derby in 2-0 defeat in December

Derby County coach Paul Simpson has explained what changed for the side in defeat against Middlesbrough last year.

Derby County coach Paul Simpson has told the Derby Telegraph that key individuals at the club made a realisation during the game away at Middlesbrough.

Simpson suggests that Derby’s mentality changed after the 2-0 defeat towards the start of December, which has benefited the club moving forward.

“We have a leadership group inside the club - They realised there was a need to grab a hold of each other in games, at times, and dig in together when we come under the cosh in games,” said Simpson.

The Rams sit joint top of the Championship and could move into the outright lead with a win against Bournemouth this evening.

The strong mentality running through the team that Simpson talks about creates a number of benefits for the team.

The most obvious one is strength in the face of adversity during matches where teams look to bully Derby from a physical point of view.

It’s also significant because there are going to be games where the Rams go behind and have to fight for an important point or points.

If Derby go behind this evening, one or two heads could start to drop and it’s the job of that leadership group to ensure that everyone stays alert and focused on how the team can get back into the game.

It also suggest a collective will to cash in when Derby are on top during big games where they’ll need that determination to see out heavy pressure and protect slender leads over the rest of the campaign.

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