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Matt Clarke was Derby’s standout man in all areas against Cardiff

Derby County can be happy with a draw against Cardiff City on Wednesday.

The Rams are still nowhere near where they want to be in the league table, but a draw against last season’s playoff semi-finalists is never a bad result, and it’s certainly one they can build on.

However, it has to be said that the East Midlands outfit weren’t all that impressive against the Bluebirds, especially going forward.

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Phillip Cocu’s attacking players lacked a cutting edge up front, and despite Martyn Waghorn finding the back of the net, he, Tom Lawrence and Kamil Jozwiak managed to get just two shots on target between them.

Matt Clarke, Derby’s centre-back, actually seemed like their biggest attacking threat throughout this match, getting three shots off with two of those being on target, the joint-highest tally of any Rams player.

On top of that, he was incredible at the back as well, winning 12 aerial duels to stop Cardiff’s long-ball bombardment, while his six interceptions stifled the Welsh outfit’s ability to get in behind.

While it’s good to see Clarke performing so well, it’s hard to not be a little concerned by a centre-back being one of your biggest attacking outlets.

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Cocu’s side haven’t been the best at finding the back of the net this season, scoring just five times in eight games, and the fact that the Brighton loanee was their biggest threat on Sunday perfectly sums up their issues.

Clarke was undoubtedly one of Cocu’s best performers on Wednesday night, but there are some huge red flags that need to be raised when one of your defenders is having as many shots on target as your frontline.

Either way, Derby need to sort out their problems going forward.

Article title: Matt Clarke was Derby’s standout man in all areas against Cardiff

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