HEAD coach Steve McClaren says Jamie Ward showed his value to Derby County’s team against Birmingham City.
Ward produced a livewire display in the 3-3 draw at St Andrew’s.
He set up two of the goals for Patrick Bamford and Craig Forsyth, and troubled Birmingham throughout the Championship contest.
McClaren was also impressed by Ward’s display after the 27-year-old’s forward’s form had dipped along with that of a number of his team mates and the team during January.
“Wardy was very good against Birmingham,” said McClaren, who believes the player showed the qualities that make him a threat to Championship defences.
“Wardy had that focus about him, that determination and aggression – that is when Jamie Ward is at his best.”
Competition in the wide areas of Derby’s team is strong with Ward, Bamford, Simon Dawkins and Johnny Russell battling for two places.
Interestingly, Ward started at Birmingham on the left from where he has produced his most effective form in a Derby shirt over the years.
He has been mainly operating from the right since the arrival of Simon Dawkins in October.
Dawkins was left out of the team at Birmingham and Ward recalled on the left with Bamford on the right.
Ward played a full game at Birmingham for only the eighth time this season.