Frustrated Clough feels leaky Rams must tighten up on road
NIGEL Clough has called on his leaky Derby County team to tighten up defensively on the road.
Derby have conceded 12 goals in a run of four consecutive away defeats.
Their latest dose of away-day blues came on Saturday when they lost 4-1 to Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.
The Rams have now conceded 19 goals in their 10 away games and a tally of eight points from 30 means only four teams have a worst away record in the Championship.
"Individually and collectively, we have to improve defensively," said Clough, who saw his side fall two down inside 22 minutes at Leicester.
"The first time Cardiff went in our box the other night, they scored and it was the same with Leicester – and it was another goal conceded from a set-play," added Clough.
"The general performance at Leicester was not too bad for long periods of the game but all that goes out the window if you don't defend properly and we certainly didn't defend properly in the first half hour.
"We can play lovely football, home or away, but it will all be forgotten if we don't start to defend better."
Clough admits there is concern over the number of goals being conceded.
"Of course there is," he said. "Nine in the last three games is a bit of a pattern but we are missing two of our defenders in Shaun Barker and Gareth Roberts. Had they been out there, I don't think we would have conceded those goals.
"In some ways, the scoreline flattered Leicester a little but they did create a lot of chances in the first half and but for a couple of saves by Adam Legzdins we could have been three or four down.
"Our defending wasn't up to it.
"We did not have a lot of experience out there but we were looking for those who are experienced to stand up a little bit more than they did in that first half an hour.
"We are not a big team, so everybody has to do their bit.
"Jeff Hendrick, as well as he did, for a midfielder in an away game, he didn't put enough tackles in.
"Nor did Paul Coutts, especially, in that first half an hour."
Richard Keogh lost his man when Zak Whitbread scored Leicester's opening goal from a corner and James O'Connor was at fault for the second goal.
"Everyone has got their job out there," said Clough. "We allocate them to different men at corners and Leicester got a semi-free header and we were one down.
"Jimmy gave the second goal away. With all of his experience, even filling in at left-back, which is out of position for him, he shouldn't be giving that away."
Defeat saw Derby slip to 16th, their lowest position since September.