Izale really looks the part - 08/10/2002
One for the future!
The victory over Ipswich Town at Portman Road was probably the first time this season that all 11 players functioned properly as a team. But I would like to mention two in particular, Izale McLeod and Horacio Carbonari.
I thought Izale was outstanding on his debut. He is only 17 and an Academy player, yet he was not intimidated by the situation.Izale had trained with the first team and not looked out of place. Obviously, he has a long, long way to go and a lot to learn but he also has a lot going for him. Horacio came back into the team after a lengthy absence and has been very professional. I know what it is like to be out of a team. It is difficult, you don't feel involved and there is the thought of moving on.
But Horacio kept plugging away and now he is back as one of three centre-backs alongside Chris Riggott and Danny Higginbotham.
It has meant a change of system for us and me moving to wing-back but I've no problem with that. I have played in that position before. You have to do a bit more running but I don't mind that at all. Our central midfield three also did well at Ipswich. I honestly don't think there is a better midfield three in this division than Rob Lee, Adam Murray and Adam Bolder. I think they complement each other well. The two Adams are really keen to learn and develop and they are learning from one of the best in Rob. I have played with him for eight years now and he seems to be getting better.
All this goes to show how positive the manager can be. He is not afraid to put players in if they are young, he is not afraid to include players who have not figured for a while and he's not afraid to switch to a different system. After the win at Ipswich, it was a big disappointment to go out of the Worthington Cup to Oldham Athletic. We went ahead through Danny's penalty but did not hold on to the lead long enough to break their confidence. Had we stayed in front until half-time, I firmly believe we would have gone on to win the game. I thought the effort and desire of the lads in the second half was fantastic and the crowd seemed to appreciate that. We hit the bar twice and their goalkeeper made some good saves. With a bit of luck - and you need that, especially in cup football - we could have been in the hat for the next round. The decision for Oldham's winning penalty was a bit dubious in such a crowded penalty area but good luck to Iain Dowie's team. They are on a good run.
It is frustrating for us at the moment. We seem to be wining a game, then losing a game, but I don't think we are a million miles away from getting it right.
Derby Evening Telegraph
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