Derby suffered another defeat last night, as Middlesbrough edged them out 1-0.
The Rams suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Middlesbrough last night, which prolongs their bad run of form and leaves their automatic promotion hopes hanging by a thread.
Only a few weeks ago things were looking very different. The Rams were sitting pretty at the top of the table with a developing lead and they looked a god bet to avoid the lottery and potential heartbreak of the play-offs.
The side now sit in fifth, with Ipswich bearing down on the top six in seventh, just three points behind.
Manager Steve McClaren has not been helped by injuries to his key attacking players, but he has to quickly assess things to judge where Derby’s priorities should be and whether to take risks and push for a top two place.
Derby suffered heartbreak in the play-offs last season so it’s understandable to see where the argument for gambling on a place in the top two comes from.
However, the side are on a slippery slope and need to find a way to stop themselves losing any more momentum and falling outside the top six, which would be a travesty considering the recent positions the club has managed to get into.
There will be questions over the defence last night, with Richard Keogh especially under the magnifying glass for his performance.
He has plenty of experience but is as human as anyone else and made an error, which made Middlesbrough’s lives easier over the course of the game. He now faces a test to ensure that he and the team respond well.
Here’s what Derby County fans on Twitter had to say about Keogh’s performance last night.
Derby, where you are going wrong is starting keogh whilst shotton is sat on the bench. There's no comparison!! Shotton over keogh anyday— Alex Garner (@A_Garner18) March 18, 2015
can't believe how bad of a player Richard Keogh is, for him to start for Derby every game is a joke never mind giving him the armband— Matt (@matt_sudbury) March 18, 2015
@JustinPeach27 like someone said the other week Kompany can get dropped for city, but Keogh can't for derby....— Shane Brown (@shanebrown16) March 17, 2015
@_OwenJenkins ;) with Keogh in defence Derby are always doomed— William Roberts (@BillyRoberts15) March 17, 2015
Who does Richard keogh think he is trying to spray the ball around like Xabi Alonso— Josh Astle (@JoshuaAstle10) March 17, 2015
Thought Albentosa and Keogh were solid, they were let down by Christie and Forsyth #dcfc— Joe Smith (@joesmith241) March 17, 2015
Keogh shouldn't get any slack tonight, one of the better players for us #dcfc— TC8 (@traviscomery) March 17, 2015