A ROLLER coaster of a match left Derby County’s head coach Steve McClaren with mixed emotions.
McClaren praised Derby’s attacking play in the 3-1 victory over Doncaster Rovers at the iPro Stadium on Saturday, but felt his team were too loose without the ball.
“Going forward we were terrific and created chances but we did not do our normal jobs without the ball, we were a little sloppy,” McClaren said.
“We let the opponent play and they let us play. It was one of those open games.
“Any other day it could have been 3-3, or 5-1 or 6-1 to us.
“I don’t like football games like that.
“I would rather win 3-0 and see the game through, like we have been doing. It was a roller coaster game.”
Jamie Ward’s goal put Derby one up at the break and leading scorer Chris Martin saw his penalty saved.
Doncaster, through former Rams striker Theo Robinson, had two good chances early in the second half before Simon Dawkins doubled Derby’s lead.
An own goal by Rams defender Jake Buxton made the score 2-1 but Craig Bryson’s 10th of the season secured the points and a seventh consecutive league win.
“We should have gone two up first half with the penalty,” McClaren said.
“When we went two up, we conceded a sloppy goal but we could have scored five or six given some of our football.
“We played some great football in the first 20 minutes of the second half.
“I just felt we got caught up with the game going forward
“The full backs, Andre Wisdom and Craig Forsyth, went forward and left us two-versus-two at the back.
“The game was too open and it shouldn’t have been like that. We should have been in control of it from start to finish.
“We could have got burnt.”
Seven straight league wins is Derby’s best run since 1995-96 when McClaren was first-team coach under manager Jim Smith. The Rams won promotion that season.
“Seven wins in a row is an achievement and we have got that belief at the moment which seven wins gives you. We have got to keep it going,” McClaren added.
Martin missed the opportunity to take his goals’ tally to 14 for the season when his penalty was kept out by Ross Turnbull in the 36th minute but McClaren was delighted with the striker’s all-round performance.
“I thought Chrissy was our platform. I thought he was teriffic in everything he did, apart from the penalty!” McClaren said.
On Bryson’s goals’ tally from midfield, McClaren added: “Goals from midfield are invaluable.
“That is Craig, he runs all day and he wants to join in.
“I think what we have got is good footballers around the team. We can play our football and he can make his runs.
“When you have somebody like Chrissy Martin, Dawkins, Wardy, Russell and Hughes, they can play the ball through to Craig.”