Derby County player ratings v Bolton: Chris Baird, Scott Carson, Jason Shackell and George Thorne shine

Reebok Bolton

Chris Baird, Scott Carson, Jason Shackell and George Thorne were the pick of the bunch as Derby County drew 0-0 with Bolton Wanderers on the Championship's opening day.

Promotion favourites Derby County made a steady, if somewhat uninspiring, start to the season as they drew 0-0 with Neil Lennon's Bolton Wanderers

Both sides created enough chances to win the game, with Bolton hitting the woodwork three times and Derby guilty of not capitalising on good build up play on a number of occasions, but the draw seemed like the most deserved result for both sides in light of their performances. 

Derby will need to improve exponentially over the course of the next few weeks if they are to win promotion this season, because the performance against Bolton shows they still look disjointed in the 4-4-2 diamond formation and a slow start could cost them an automatic promotion spot this season.

Player Ratings:

Scott Carson - 7

Chris Baird - 7, Richard Keogh - 7, Jason Shackell - 8, Stephen Warnock - 5

George Thorne - 8, Will Hughes - 6, Craig Bryson - 6, Tom Ince - 6

Chris Martin - 5, Johnny Russell - 6

Ryan Shotton - 6,  Jeff Hendrick - 6, Andreas Weimann - 6

Analysis: 

The performances of Carson, Baird, Thorne, Shackell and Keogh were standout as the Rams were able to deal with Bolton's aerial bombardment for much of the match. 

Carson, who was a surprise selection over Lee Grant, showed why the club were fast to bring him in as his excellent distribution added another dimension to the Rams attack. The other four mentioned were defensively excellent and made life very difficult for Bolton to create any clear cut opportunities aside from crosses.

Going forward, it was a surprisingly poor performance, with Chris Martin and Tom Ince failing to have their usual impact on the game, and it showed in the last few moments as Derby failed to convert a guilt edge chance despite having numerous bites at the cherry. 

Paul Clement will now have a number of difficult decisions ahead of the Portsmouth and Charlton match as injuries to Will Hughes and Craig Bryson has significantly lightened their personnel in the middle of the park.

If the diamond formation is to work out for Derby, Clement will need to bring in an another central midfielder or look to bring in one of the youngster from the under-21 side.

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