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Del: We had to dig deep at Derby

Williams returned to the starting XI for Rovers at Pride Park and helped keep a clean sheet against the Rams

19 September 2018

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Defender Derrick Williams says Rovers didn't deserve to beat Derby County, but just about did enough to earn a point in the 0-0 draw against Frank Lampard's hosts.

It was a backs to the wall display for the large majority of the encounter at Pride Park by Tony Mowbray's side, with the Rams pinning Rovers back with some good attacking play.

Rovers had to ride their luck at times, with Mason Mount coming closest when he clattered the upright from a free kick.

And Wiliams was honest in his assessment of Rovers' display on the night.

“It was very much a hard-earned point for us. It was a tough game against a very good team," he told iFollow Rovers. 

“Straight from the start they pushed us hard from the front and we got caught between two ways we wanted to play. The first 30 or 40 minutes was tough and we did well to go in at half time with the score 0-0.
 
“But I never thought they were going to score in the first half. You have to soak up that pressure and quieten the fans, try to slow the game down a bit. We did that late in the first half and were better in the second.
 
“The second half was much better. We dropped off a bit more and tried to use a game plan which I think worked pretty well.
 
“We’re happy with the clean sheet. The first half was carnage and a tough one. 
 
“We did well to keep our concentration levels high, because as I’ve said, they are a really good team and their wingers kept coming inside and overloading us."
 
It was a welcome return to the starting side for Del, who has missed a chunk of the season with a troublesome foot injury.
 
His last outing from the off was on the opening day of the season at Ipswich Town before marking his return to the team off the bench against old side Aston Villa at the weekend.
 
And the 25-year-old was pretty content with his own personal display.
 
"I haven’t played at centre half for a while and I was rusty at the start but believe I got better as the game went on," the Republic of Ireland international added.
 
“I enjoy centre half but it took me a little while to get used to playing in a two. I’m normally at centre half in a back three, but I don’t want to be too hard on myself. I’m my harshest critic!
 
“We could have nicked it at the end, but we definitely didn’t deserve that. It’s football so we’ll take the point."

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