‘Doing his talking on the pitch’ – Derby player hailed after Sheffield United victory | OneFootball
‘Doing his talking on the pitch’ – Derby player hailed after Sheffield United victory
Football League World
Derby County captain Tom Lawrence has not always been the most popular figure amongst Rams fans but he was their match-winner against Sheffield United on Saturday.
Amid continued off-field issues at Pride Park, Wayne Rooney’s side defied the odds once again as they beat the Blades 2-0 to move off the bottom of the Championship for the first time since their 21-point deduction was confirmed.
The Rams’ defensive resolve has been vital to their success in recent weeks but a second half brace from Lawrence helped them secure all three points.
The Wales international danced past John Egan and sent a shot into the bottom corner for his 69th-minute opener before curling a sensational second past Blades keeper Wes Foderingham nine minutes later.
Rooney’s decision to make Lawrence the captain back in the summer was not universally well-received by the club’s fanbase but performances like the one on Saturday will go a long way to winning the naysayers over.
Speaking on FLW TV’s EFL Weekend Review, Football League World journalist Ben Wignall hailed the 28-year-old’s impressive display.
“He is (continuing to prove the doubters wrong), yeah,” he said. “I think they had every right to be doubtful, Derby fans, when Rooney did keep him on as captain.
“It’s very well documented what happened with the Keogh and Bennett situation a few years ago but I think he’s doing his talking on the pitch now.”
Bournemouth, Stoke City, Swansea City, and West Bromwich Albion were all linked with Lawrence ahead of the window and Wignall suggested that Saturday’s display illustrates why.
He said: “I think this is the kind of performance when you realise why Championship clubs were looking at him earlier in the month or in December when it was reported that the likes of West Brom were looking at him.
“It could be easy to say he’s on a big wage at the club and he could be one the admins are looking at with the struggles they’re having at the minute.
“Obviously, they might cash in on Jason Knight now so Lawrence might not go but certainly performances like this make you wonder whether anyone will come in for him before the end of the month.
“When he’s on it he’s definitely a top-level Championship player, he’s just not shown it enough in the last year or so to be at that upper level when you talk about Championship attacking midfielders but I think he’ll definitely come into people’s minds now.
“He’s not single-mindedly keeping Derby in that survival race, it’s definitely a team effort, but he’s the kind of talisman and driving force right now.”
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