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Steve McClaren relief after ‘poor’ first half from Derby County against Bournemouth

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 24, 2014

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DERBY County head coach Steve McClaren admits he was relieved his team were still in the game at half time against Bournemouth.

The visitors had been the better side first half and threatened to score on at least four occasions.

Derby improved after the break and won 1-0 with a free kick from Chris Martin, his 18th goal of the season.

“We were just waiting for that one moment of quality,” said McClaren. “Like at Sheffield Wednesday, it took another moment of magic to get us all three points.

“We were poor first half against Bournemouth.

“We got fortunate because they were very good, they stopped us playing, played themselves and caused us problems – 0-0 was a great score for us at half time!

“They will probably kick themselves because they kind of missed their chance, and we knew that.

“We knew we would have our chance and that was the difference on the day.

“Second half, we were very good.

“We changed things around, basically we opened the game up and went for it.

“I thought we dominated the second half. Bournemouth never had a chance, and never got out of their half.

“We just lacked that quality in the final third, the quality of the cross and the finish. We should have had more shots and crosses.

“In the end it is another 1-0 win and we are making it very nervous for everybody.

“We rode our luck first half but I think in the end we deserved to win it.”

Derby’s goal in the 85th minute came after Will Hughes was brought down by defender Tommy Elphick 20 yards or so outside the Bournemouth area.

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe thought it was a harsh decision.

“We felt hard done by over the goal and how it came about,” he said. “My immediate reaction was that it wasn’t a free kick. I thought Tommy took the ball and his reaction spoke volumes for me.

“The referee has had to make a quick decision, it has gone against us and the lad has stuck the free kick in the top corner. I had a good view, it was on my side and I thought Tommy took the ball.”

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