Paul Clement explains his omission of Derby County midfielder Bradley Johnson

Bradley Johnson was left on the bench for Derby County's match against Norwich City yesterday.

Paul Clement has suggested to the Derby Telegraph that even Bradley Johnson will admit that he has been short of his best recently.

Johnson made a bright start with the Rams after joining from Norwich City during the summer transfer window.

However, the 28-year-old has not been as influential of late, and he was left on the bench by Clement for Derby’s match against Preston North End last night.

In the fixture, Derby could only manage to pick up a 0-0 draw, but Clement defended his decision to drop the powerful midfielder after the match.

"By Bradley's own admission his performances have plateaued from the good start he had," Clement said. 

Johnson had previously never been omitted from a Derby line-up when he had been available.

He may well come back in contention for the Rams’ weekend match against Fulham, however, as the performance of the team in his absence was a disappointing one.

Derby did not even manage to muster up a shot on target against Simon Grayson’s side, as they slipped further away from the automatic promotion places.

Derby have failed to win any of their last six Championship matches, and the pressure on Clement is growing by the game.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch