Nigel Clough believes Derby County’s preparations for the new season are coming together nicely after today’s 1-0 victory at Burton Albion.
Winger Michael Jacobs slotted home the only goal of the game at the Pirelli Stadium early in the second half to hand the Rams their first victory of pre-season.
With the new season still three weeks away Clough insists there’s more to come from his side.
Speaking after the win against his former club, Clough says he is happy with how his side are shaping up just over a fortnight after reporting back for pre-season training.
He told Rams Player: “Today was another good workout for us and there a number of positives to draw from the game.
“We kept the ball well, especially in the first-half, but we didn’t pose too much of a threat at times but that will improve as the players get sharper.
“We wanted a bit more impetuous and urgency from the players, even though it was a pre-season game, and we know there’s more to come from them.
“At this point of pre-season we’re satisfied how things are going, especially the lack of injuries, but as we keep stressing, it’s still early days.
“We don’t want them to hit top gear just yet because we’re gearing towards the season, so you can’t read too much into performances right now as the players are still finding their sharpness.”
Clough was pleased to see summer signing Jacobs find the net, and he believes the wideman can have a part to play when it comes to scoring goals from midfield.
He said: “Michael took his goal really well; it was a cool, composed finish and we know he’s capable of doing that.
“His position is one we’re looking to get some goals from this so if he chips in with a few like that, we’ll be delighted.”
Trialists Valentin Gjokaj and Michael Hoganson started in defence against the Brewers and Clough was impressed with both players, although decisions on the futures of the teenagers are yet to be decided.
Central defender Gjokaj, who was most recently with Swiss club Lucerne, has spent the last week training with Derby while Hoganson is a former Newcastle United left-back who is attracting interest from other Football League sides.
On the pair, Clough said: “They both did well; it can be difficult for trialists trying to make an impact in the early pre-season games.
“Valentin did well and we’re going to try and keep him over for another week if we can and I thought Michael did well for us too.”
Derby’s next pre-season game is away to Northampton Town on Tuesday night.
Watch more from Nigel Clough in an exclusiveRams Playerinterview.