Ex-Nottingham Forest star Garry Birtles on Derby County creating chances

Derby County Huddle

Former Nottingham Forest star Garry Birtles speaks highly of Derby County’s ability to create chances.

Former Nottingham Forest striker Garry Birtles has been singing the praises of Derby County on Sky Sports’ FL 72: Review show.

Derby are currently second in the Championship table with 65 points from 35 matches, just a point behind leaders Middlesbrough.

The Rams have arguably the best squad in the second tier of English football, but they have lost their last two league games.

Last weekend Steve McClaren’s side went down 2-0 to Fulham at Craven Cottage in London, and on Tuesday they suffered a 2-0 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion away from home.

Failure to score in their last two Championship games has exposed Derby’s lack of options upfront due to injuries to Darren Bent and Chris Martin, but Birtles has highlighted the Rams’ ability to create chances.

“They look (toothless), but you look at that game and the chances they created were utterly unbelievable,” Birtles told Sky Sports’ FL 72: Review show about Derby’s defeat to Brighton at The Amex.

“They are creating chances non-stop, and that’s the beauty of Derby,” added the 58-year-old. “All season they have had players in all positions who can create goals and score goals.”

Derby do have some quality players and they do create chances, as they did against Fulham and Brighton.

  MatchChances createdTotal ShotsShots on TargetTotal Final Third PassesSuccessful Final Third Passes
Derby Brighton vs Derby 15 19 5 190 150
Derby Fulham vs Derby 10 14 2 211 146

Against the Cottagers, Derby created 10 chances and took 14 shots, while against Brighton the Rams carved out 15 chances and took 19 shots.

What is worrying is that McClaren’s side have failed to get enough shots on target. Although against the Seagulls, Derby had five shots on target, against Fulham, only two of their 14 attempts actually tested the goalkeeper.

Derby are back in action on Saturday when they take on Birmingham City at the iPro Stadium. It is clear what McClaren’s side have to improve on the most: get more shots on target.

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