Derby County boss Clough sure Rams will get through bad phase
NIGEL Clough believes conceding goals from crosses and corners is just a phase his Derby County team are going through.
The last four goals against – two at Sheffield Wednesday and two at Hull City – have come from such situations.
Michail Antonio prodded the ball home for Wednesday's first goal after Derby failed to deal with a corner and Miguel Llera headed the Owls' equaliser from a centre a few minutes later in Saturday's 2-2 draw at Hillsborough.
At Hull on Tuesday night, the Tigers' opening goal in their 2-1 win came when Gedo headed in a Robbie Brady cross.
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The home side's winner, three minutes from time, was another header, this time from Ahmed Elmohamady, who converted from a corner.
Clough says the task of cutting out such goals is down to a collective responsibility, rather than the fault of individuals.
"It is something to work on but it is not just down to one individual or the two centre halves. Everybody has to chip in," added the manager.
"I think it's just a phase because we have done very well defending set plays this season."
Asked if he felt goalkeeper Adam Legzdins could help more in such situations, Clough said: "Working backwards through the last four goals conceded, Adam says he was fouled for Sheffield Wednesday's first goal.
"We have seen it on DVD and a Wednesday player is holding Adam's arm but the referee is not in a position to see it.
"Adam could do nothing about Wednesday's second goal. It came from a hell of a cross. Sometimes you have to give credit to the quality of the crosses coming in.
"For Hull's first goal, Gareth Roberts misjudged the cross but the header was a very, very good finish.
"On the second goal, there was no height on the corner for Adam to come. It was flat and delivered with pace. It was Jeff Hendrick's man that scored and that may have been down to inexperience.
"But it is down to fine margins. Gareth has just missed the first one and Jeff is half an inch away from getting a touch to the corner which would have stopped the lad scoring.
"Other teams might have 6ft tall full-backs who can't really play. We don't. We want our full-backs to join in the play but that can give opponents a height advantage at certain times.
"We have to defend that ball when it comes in the box – that is crucial – but we want to try and achieve that without sacrificing the other side of our game."