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Three is the magic number...

Derrick Williams believes Rovers' new system of three at the back will reap the rewards

17 September 2019

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It's fair to say that Derrick Williams has been on fire for Rovers this season both defensively and offensively.

Despite having no pre-season whatsoever after picking up a calf injury, Williams was thrown straight in for the second game of the season at Fulham back in early August.

An ever-present since, Williams has produced numerous assured displays at the heart of the Rovers backline, scoring twice and also playing his part in four clean sheets in the last five league games.

The number three was part of a back three system in the weekend win over Millwall at Ewood Park, and Del reckons the new structure will bring out the best in Tony Mowbray's team.

“The week's much better after the three points," he began when sitting down with iFollow Rovers.

"We tried a new system and whilst we can get much better at it, it worked.

“It's a tough system, but I feel it suits the players we have. I played the system at Bristol City and you've got to put a lot of work into it.

“You want to get it right and it was never going to be perfect in the first game. The main thing now is for everyone to learn it, learn it and learn it and then I think it'll work really well for us.

“We had the most shots of the season playing that system and got more players in the box.

“It catches team off guard when you have different systems, as Sheffield United showed last season. The link up play in our system at the weekend was very encouraging.

“It gives us overloads and gets our players closer together," he added.

"We look like a really good team playing the system but it will take time, it's not a case of flicking the fingers and it works.

“In weeks or even months, it'll really click into place for us."

Williams' first half strike got the ball rolling on a comfortable win for Rovers against The Lions on Saturday, with his thumping effort giving visiting goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski no chance.

And the Irishman added that it was the perfect afternoon.

“It was a positive day for us, I'm buzzing with the clean sheet and a goal is always nice," he said.

“When Greg got on the ball I just felt it was right to move in and get the shot off. I needed to get my head over the ball to stop it going into row Z like it usually does!

“But I caught it well and as soon as I hit it I knew it had a chance. It just felt right and to see it go in was brilliant.

“It went in slow motion for me and as soon as it hit the net I planned to do a knee slide before looking down and seeing how dry the pitch was. I'll need to work on the celebration for next time."

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