Stats help Clough understand why Derby County energy levels dropped
PROZONE stats can arm a manager and coach with all sorts of information.
Nigel Clough says the stats that landed on his desk last week confirmed what he already knew about the efforts put in by his Derby County team in the back-to-back away games against Sheffield Wednesday and Hull City.
A draw at Wednesday and a narrow 2-1 defeat at Hull on the Tuesday night was followed by a goalless draw against strugglers Wolverhampton Wanderers at Pride Park on Saturday.
Clough admitted that there was not too much energy in the Rams' display but he praised his players for the way they dug in and plugged away.
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"We knew from watching the game at Hull on Tuesday and from the stats we received Wednesday morning how much effort had gone in at Hull. It was an incredible effort and then there was the disappointment of conceding a late goal as well," said Clough.
"Given the amount of high-intensity work, especially, that went in at Hull, it is very, very difficult to repeat that four days later with very much the same players.
"Could we have freshened the team up? There is not very much option-wise to do that.
"There wasn't too much energy out there. Generally, we were a bit flat compared to what we have been.
"It was a grind but a good grind and it is also important not to lose such a game. I think that is progress. We would have lost that game in past seasons."
Clough expects his team to have more energy when Bolton Wanderers visit Pride Park Stadium tomorrow.
"I think we will and with it being a night game as well but there won't be too many changes," he said.
The shortage of energy levels is part of the reason why Clough switched the system in the second half from 4-4-2 to more of a 4-5-1.
"Jeff Hendrick had his quietest game for some time and Will Hughes was struggling with his groin, so we thought we'd get an extra body in midfield with Craig Bryson," said Clough.
"We wanted Jamie Ward to provide some width on the left and have a go at their right-back, which he did.
"We could have nicked it at the end. Michael Jacobs had a good situation to square the ball and then Jamie hit his free kick very well but the goalkeeper made a good save.
"On another day, it might have took a nick off the wall and gone in but it wasn't our day from that point of view and it was one of those games that we made sure we didn't lose if we couldn't win it."