Simpson cites a specific area of Keogh’s performance in the game against Huddersfield, revealing that the team were shown their captain’s stats to illustrate the way he dominates in the air.
“We showed the players some stats last week from the Huddersfield game. The stats covered ground duels and aerial duels. Richard Keogh won 11 out of 11,” said Simpson.
“If we could have had everybody winning 11 out of 11, we might not have had to score four to get a draw.”
Derby have conceded seven goals in their last two games and need to end the season well against Reading, hopefully with a clean sheet to give the side momentum ahead of the play-offs.
The play-offs are an unforgiving set of games as the Rams discovered last season and one of the ways they can make things slightly easier for themselves is to defend properly.
Keogh’s experience allows him to get into good positions where he can gain edges in terms of aerial and physical duels all over the pitch and it is an area of his game that his defensive teammates could study.
It sounds obvious but if the Rams can defend hard and keep clean sheets, they’ll make the job of the attack easier because they’ll only need one goal to take the spoils and not three or four.
Keogh has been included in the PFA’s Championship Team of the Year and he needs to reproduce that consistency if the side are to go up.