Scotland international Craig Bryson admitted his frustration at being left out of the Derby County side and gave two reasons over why he hasn’t emulated his impressive goalscoring form from last season.
After coming back into the starting line-up following a lengthy spell on the bench, the ex-Kilmarnock midfielder admitted after the 2-0 defeat to Brighton that he has been frustrated with his lack of playing time but was pleased to see the side doing well.
‘’It was good to be back after quite a long spell out of the side,’’ Bryson told the Derbyshire Telegraph. ‘’It’s frustrating but the boys have been doing well.
‘’I was out of the team with an injury and then I just couldn’t get back in. So I was delighted to be back out there at Brighton.’’
When asked about his contrasting fortunes from last season, where he won the club's Player of the Year award and netted 16 goals, the 28-year-old said: ‘’I’ve had a couple of niggles and I’ve been playing in a slightly different position this season, where I’ve not been getting in the box as much as I did last season.
‘’The gaffer wants to control the game a bit more, so I’ve been playing a bit deeper, which makes it harder to get into the box. It’s just one of those things. It was always doing to be hard to score 16 goals again from midfield but I’ll keep on going and see where it takes me.’’
Should McClaren give Bryson his old role in the team back for the last 12 games?
This season, despite their lofty league position, the Rams have certainly missed Bryson’s forward runs into the opposition box.
Although the Rams do control games slightly more than they did last season, the goals from midfield have been nowhere near as effective and that has shown in the side’s attacking performances and results.
With 12 games to go, Steve McClaren will be desperate to see his side finish inside the top two and a more potent goal threat from midfield could be the best way for the former England boss to go.
If the diminutive Scottish midfielder can even come close to his form last season, it could be argued Derby would stand a slightly better chance of achieving their goal of promotion to the Premier League.