You can never read too much into pre-season friendlies but Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat against Northampton Town will have left Derby County manager Gary Rowett scratching his head.
Marc Richards scored the only goal of the game at Sixfields, the League One side opening up a strong Derby line-up with ease to consign them to their first friendly defeat this summer. Sluggish on the ball and lacking creativity in the final third, it is difficult to argue that the loss was not deserved.
Derby manager Gary Rowett
And the game only reinforced the view of some Derby supporters that Jamie Hanson does not warrant a place in the squad next season. The 21-year-old midfielder started against Northampton but, in truth, did little to answer his critics.
A product of Derby’s youth academy, Hanson has played 25 league games for the club and with Will Hughes departing for Watford and Julien De Sart’s loan from Middlesbrough coming to an end, he had an opportunity to force his way into Rowett’s first-team plans in pre-season.
However, the youngster will need to perform far better than he did on Tuesday. The arrival of Tom Huddlestone from Hull City, plus the presence of Jacob Butterfield, Craig Bryson and Bradley Johnson, means Hanson is likely to begin the campaign some way down the pecking order.
And, based on the opinion of a number of Derby supporters, he has a lot to do to prove he deserves a place in the first-team picture.
Don't know how Hanson keeps making the team sheet?— CraigDCFC (@craigdcfc) July 25, 2017
The 'Only need to tweak it' #dcfc fans will disagree profusely but still some horrible footballers at the club. Russell, Bryson, Hanson, 1/2— Deano (@Deanogarratt) July 25, 2017
Possible replacements for Anya, Hanson and Baird? pic.twitter.com/ViIcEbQf59— Mick Massey DCFC (@topklobber) July 25, 2017
Jamie Hanson has his critics at Derby
Cant blame butters for the goal poor pass from Hanson left him trapped #DCFC— Craig Warrington (@Craig_Warro) July 25, 2017