Jack Marriott believes Derby County played 'some really good stuff' as they encountered their first pre-season test ahead of the 2019/20 Sky Bet Championship campaign.
The Rams’ striker provided both goals in the 2-0 victory over USL side Sarasota Metropolis in Florida in Phillip Cocu’s first game in charge for Derby in which he fielded two different teams for each half.
After a goalless first-half, Marriott netted both goals in the second half. First he fired in a close-range effort from a tight angle to open the scoring before slotting home a rebound following a deflected shot by Mason Bennett late on.
The most important thing for Marriott, and the rest of the squad, was getting match minutes under their belts and building a solid base to work from for their next four friendlies before the league campaign starts.
Cocu gave 22 players 45 minutes each as they stepped up their workload following ten days of pre-season training.
“It was good to get out there against a young lively side and in the heat and the temperatures that we have been experiencing in training over here,” Marriott told RamsTV following the game.
“It is hot, it is tough work and to get 45 minutes of game time is the most important thing and we push on from there.
“All the boys worked hard and got the most out of the 45 minutes that each 11 played. It was good, and we played some good football as well which we have carried on from our training over here which is good early signs.”
He added: “This early in pre-season you are just getting the minutes and game time in and just making whatever connections and partnerships you are put in on the pitch.
“Whether that is something moving forward or something else, but everyone wats to work hard, everyone wants to work for each other.”
As well as providing a marker for their fitness, the match also gave the Rams their first opportunity to put into action the ideas that Cocu has presented to the squad in his first five days with his new team.
Marriott explained that although he is bringing in a similar style to what was played last season, there have been some tweaks and the striker is pleased that the Rams were already showing signs of those philosophies.
Following another two days of hard training, Derby will take on Championship rivals Bristol City on Saturday in Florida to continue building into the season before returning home.
He said: “I think the manager is carrying on a lot, but he is also bringing in his own adaptations of the way he wants us to play.
“It may be very similar, which is good, but there is going to be a few little changes which is also good and hopefully we will be a strong unit defending and going forward.
“I think we played some really good stuff tonight. On the floor we played football – we played it well and moved it quickly and that is positive.”
He continued: “I’m not sure what the plan for the Bristol City game is in terms of game time but we will obviously hear from that in the next couple of days. We will build up to another good test out here in the heat and it should be another good game.”