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Derby County fan Q&A: Mel Morris has done wonders for the club off the field

Derby County Manager Steve McClaren

HITC speaks to Derby County fan Tom Thorogood, who has been a supporter for 20 years.

Derby County's Thomas Ince looks dejectedDerby County's Thomas Ince looks dejected

Q: What have you made of your team’s start to the season?

A: Extremely poor, considering we have for the past three seasons been challenging for automatic promotion.

Q: What are your opinions on your manager?

A: Steve McClaren burned many bridges with his behaviour towards the end of his last spell, yet there is no doubt he is responsible for the best football Derby have played this side of the millennium. He needs time.

New Derby County manager Steve McClaren posesNew Derby County manager Steve McClaren poses

Q: What are your views on the board ?

A: Mel Morris has done wonders for the club off the field, but on the field we have become worse since he became owner with personal decisions not working out.

Q: Who is your favourite current player?

A: Will Hughes

Derby's Will HughesDerby's Will Hughes

Q: Who is your favourite ever player?

A: Stefano Eranio

Q: What has been your best memory of the club ?

A: Beating Manchester United 3-2 at Old Trafford, Paulo Wanchope’s goal in particular.

Q: What has been your most disappointing moment ?

A: Losing to Queens Park Rangers in the 2014 playoff final. Totally undeserved.

Q: Describe the best goal you ever saw at your club’s home ground

A: Inigo Idiakez scored a fair few excellent goals in his time, but arguably none better than his 25-yard free-kick against Plymouth Argyle. Nobody expected him to shoot with such an angle, but he looped one over the wall and into the far top corner.

Former Derby County midfielder Inigo IdiakezFormer Derby County midfielder Inigo Idiakez

Q: Which ground is your most favourite away day?

A: I enjoyed going to Crewe Alexandra, as it was fairly local. A nice enough ground and usually a solid away day with three points a real possibility.

Q: Who do you consider to be the club’s biggest rival and why?

A: Nottingham Forest. Aside from being just down the A52, aka Brian Clough way, it was due to Clough’s success at both teams which makes the rivalry so unique.

Q: Who do you feel has been the club’s best and worst summer signing?

A: Best: Ikechi Anya. Worst: Matej Vydra

Derby County's Matej Vydra and Newcastle United's Chancel Mbemba in actionDerby County's Matej Vydra and Newcastle United's Chancel Mbemba in action

Q: Who is your one player to watch out for this season?

A: Will Hughes is always a pleasure to watch due to his technical ability.

Q: Is there a particular youth player that excites you, and why?

A: Hughes aside, Max Lowe appears to be the next product to be breaking into the first-team. He’s probably already better than Olsson, despite limited playing time.

Derby's Max Lowe and Cardiff's Craig Noone in actionDerby's Max Lowe and Cardiff's Craig Noone in action

Q: Where do you think the club will look to strengthen in January?

A: Assuming Chris Martin can’t be recalled from his loan signing, a new link-up centre-forward is needed. As is a right-back, holding midfielder and winger.

Q: Finally, what are you aims for this season, and where do you think your club will finish?

A: The aim from the beginning had to be at least a top six spot, but after such a poor start that is now looking increasingly unlikely.

Steve McClaren needs time, and most supporters now would rather focus on performances rather than results considering the current situation.

If you want to share your thoughts / memories on your club, please email peter.bowler@hitc.com

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