3 things we clearly learnt about Derby County after their 4-0 win over Forest Green Rovers

3 things we clearly learnt about Derby County after their 4-0 win over Forest Green Rovers

Derby County returned to winning ways in League One with a 4-0 win over Forest Green Rovers at Pride Park on Saturday.

The Rams ended a streak of three straight ties with a dominant win over a struggling Forest Green, currently sitting on the relegation zone.

Nathaniel Mendez-Laing gave Paul Warne’s side an early lead on his return to the starting XI before David McGoldrick doubled the advantage in the 21st minute.

Derby had more chances when Max Bird was thwarted by Luke McGee and Mendez-Laing’s header hit the post, but they weren’t held out for too long and McGoldrick added a third in the 69th minute before completing his hat-trick when he pushed home with three minutes to go.

The win extends the Rams’ unbeaten run to eight league games and puts them in sixth place in the play-offs, two points ahead of seventh-placed Wycombe Wanderers.

But what have we learned about Derby since their last encounter?

goals in the team

Warne will have been frustrated after just one goal in his last three games, particularly with the quality he has at his disposal.

McGoldrick’s treble was his second hat-trick of the season and ninth overall, while he has also contributed three assists, underscoring the 35-year-old’s importance to the team.

James Collins also has seven for the campaign, so there’s plenty of firepower for the Rams.

The problem is that while they have had some emphatic wins, they have not been repeated consistently enough and too many draws have limited further progression up the table.

Derby can pose a threat to any team in the division with the quality they have in their side and they used their advantage against their struggling opponents with Forest Green conceding 43 goals this season.

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Defensive record continues

While Forest Green had their moments in the game, the Derby defense didn’t get too many questions from their visitors.

The Rams have the second-best defensive record in the division with just 17 goals conceded, only Barnsley was less injured.

It gets even more impressive when you consider the makeshift defense Warne had to field, with midfielders Korey Smith and Louie Sibley playing at full-back and left-back Craig Forsyth filling in centrally.

With Curtis Davies and Haydon Roberts fit again, Warne has more options but both were left on the bench on Saturday as he managed their recovery.

Such a solid defensive base gives Derby an excellent platform from which to build his promotion push, as Warne instills the resilience he became known for during his time at Rotherham United.

Strong home form

Pride Park is becoming something of a fortress for the Rams.

They have lost just once at home since Warne’s appointment in September and are unbeaten in four league games on home soil.

It’s not a trip that many teams will enjoy and playing in front of their sizeable home support seems to be a huge advantage as their attacking players thrive when they play on the front foot.

With the Rams having two of their next three games at home during the holiday season, it looks like a strong opportunity to cement their spot in the top six.

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