Defender Jake Buxton urges derby County fans to give striker Conor Sammon a break
DERBY County supporters should give under-fire striker Conor Sammon a break, says team-mate Jake Buxton.
Sammon is now without a goal in his last 10 appearances for the Rams – and saw a late penalty saved in Friday's 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace at Pride Park Stadium.
The Republic of Ireland international took over spot-kick duties from Jamie Ward, who was off the field due to a hamstring injury, but Palace's impassable keeper, Julian Speroni, tipped his attempt from 12 yards on to the bar in the 87th minute to cap a frustrating night for the home side – and Sammon in particular.
After the match, Buxton had some words of support for his colleague, who has scored seven times in 36 appearances since his £1.2m move from Wigan Athletic.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"I told him afterwards that if Jamie's not on the pitch, he gets the next one – and he'll put it in the back of the net," said the defender.
"He's done well and people don't see the amount of work he does off the ball and the amount of running he does.
"I know he sometimes does it in areas where he's not going to get goals but he's one of the lads and he works hard.
"He had his opportunity to put the ball in the back of the net and it didn't happen but we move on to the next game.
"He hit it well enough and the keeper made a great save. He was superb all night.
"The ball came back off the bar to one of their players – on another day, it would have dropped to one of ours and it would have been a tap-in.
"Yes, he'll be disappointed but give the lad a break, because he's doing well and working very hard.
"He's a lovely lad off the pitch and he'll keep going."
Derby's last three home games have brought them only two points – the Palace defeat having been preceded by draws against Bolton (1-1) and Wolves (0-0).
"Like the Bolton game, we felt we dominated and did the right things," said Buxton.
"We passed the ball out from the back and if they stopped us, we tried to get the ball wide.
"We're doing everything that is asked of us. We just need a little bit of luck.
"We had the chances and we're disappointed not to have got a point.
"Even if we had got a point, that would have been two from two home games, when we feel we should have had six."
Palace's 13th-minute winner came about in unusual style – as Mile Jedinak's block tackle inside his own half resulted in the ball looping over the Derby defence and into the path of Yannick Bolasie, who dribbled around keeper Adam Legzdins to score.
"It was a ricochet in the middle of the park, which ended up putting the lad straight through," said Buxton.
"They had a shot in the first half that hit the bar but, other than that, Adam probably had one save to make."
Buxton was back in the Rams starting line-up as he continues his recovery from a knee injury.
And despite the result, the former Burton Albion centre-back could claim a personal victory in his battle with the Championship's leading scorer Glenn Murray.
Murray has 28 goals to his name this season, including two in a 3-0 win against Derby at Selhurst Park in November – but his threat was largely nullified at Pride Park.
"Murray had the best of me at their place, so it was a matter of personal pride for me to try to keep him at bay," Buxton added.
"I know we've lost the game but I like to think me and Richard (Keogh) did that.
"When we went down there, he was probably the best we've come up against and we spoke about it before the game.
"The same goes for the lads on the wing (Wilfried Zaha and Bolasie). They're special players but I thought we looked after them too."