Derby County Ladies Football Club

Positives out of Defeat to Champions

Article by Derby University Football Journalism Student Jake Dance

Derby County Ladies manager Sam Griffiths praised both sides as Blackburn Rovers’ victory clinched the title on Sunday.

The Ewe Rams suffered a 3-0 defeat in the FA Women’s National League North at Bamber Bridge Football Club, but Griffiths was proud of her team’s overall performance.

The Derby boss lauded the display, especially in the opening half. “Going into half-time I was pleased with the first half performance,” Griffiths explained, “even the second half I didn’t think we were poor. We just weren’t as good as our standards in the first half.

I think if it’s anything to take from, definitely the last few games, is [that] the performance has got better.”

The teams growth and development was also praised off the back of a good run of performances. “They’re improving every week,” the manager stated, “we sort of changed the formation a little bit to have a go at something else. I thought they adapted really well.”

Griffiths also had plenty of praise for a Blackburn side that had just won their third successive title. “Full credit to them, fully deserved,” the Ewe Rams boss exclaimed “[they are] worthy champions and that have always been hard to beat. [They’ve] always been an excellent team.”

Derby midfielder, Monique Watson, was quick to back her manager’s thoughts whilst also reflecting on what her side needs to match Rovers performances. “They’ve just gone and won the league at the end of the day,” Watson stated, “they’re clinical, they put their chances away … That’s what you need to do to get to that standard really.”

Griffiths continued: “ I’m just glad that they’re out [of] our league now! [laughs] they’ve been a pain for god knows how long now and fair play to Gemma [Donnelly] and the team they’ve created.”

Looking ahead to the final four games of the season, the Derby Ladies manager is looking to remain focused. “There are four games left. I want to get maximum points if we can,” Griffiths explained, “We just go into every game fully focused and try to achieve third or fourth spot and finish as high as we can this season.”

Watson summed up the point even more eloquently, stating: “Yep, four games left, twelve points from it, ‘simples’.”