Derby County Under-21 manager Lee Glover on dcfc.co.uk pointed the finger towards West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Alex Palmer as the reason the Rams failed to win the game which would have kept their U21 Premier League promotion hopes alive.
The former Nottingham Forest forward, turned Derby coach, was left rueing his side’s finishing after a goalless draw saw them cement their place in the second-tier of the U21 Premier League for next season.
England and Spain youth internationals Mason Bennett and Ivan Calero put the Baggies goalkeeper under notable pressure throughout the game, but the 'keeper’s class shone through as he kept a well-deserved clean sheet.
Talking after the game, Glover said: ‘’Alex Palmer, their goalkeeper, pulled off two or three good saves, one of which was top quality, but we kept another clean sheet and the performance wasn’t bad.
‘’We have played worse than that and won and in the dressing room afterwards, the lads weren’t despondent.’’
Palmer, who has played for England’s youth sides, has made big strides in his development this season and his progression into the West Brom Under-21 side shows he is on the right track to one day be in the first team.
The performance against Derby has been highlighted by the opposition coach but he’s been performing to that standard all season and has kept four clean sheets in his nine appearances at that level.
As for Derby, the Under-21s have suffered a similar fate to the first team and know now they won’t be promoted after a year consistently sat at the top.
Some of the young players, such as Calero and Bennett, are now expected to move on and have a bigger role in the first team next season. However, the foundations have been left for the youth team to have a second crack at promotion next time round.