Paul Clement: Derby County labelled 'awful' by boss

Derby boss questions promotion hopes

Derby County boss Paul Clement said every facet of Tuesday's 1-1 draw against Reading was "awful" and his side's promotion hopes are at risk.

In a damning assessment of his side, Clement said they "lacked everything" in a game that saw them lose ground on Championship leaders Middlesbrough.

Derby have lost once in 11 games in all competitions, but have taken two points from their past three league matches.

"We need to wake up fast because that is nowhere near good enough," he said.

Speaking to BBC Radio Derby, the former Read Madrid, Paris St-Germain and Chelsea assistant continued: "It was an awful game. It was an awful team performance. We were individually awful."

Paul Clement

Derby went ahead through Jason Shackell early on, but Reading's Danny Williams levelled with a header before half-time.

Hal Robson-Kanu had a shot turned onto the post for the visitors as they pressed for all three points.

Clement continued: "I can't think of anything positive about the performance - from the first whistle it was an ugly game and we never got a grip of it.

"Individually, it was error after error after error. The attitude of the team to work, to execute the plan tactically, was non-existent. There was no improvement in the second half and I think we are fortunate not to have lost."

Clement said he is "struggling to explain" the reasons for their recent stall in league form, but said a quick improvement is needed if they are to win promotion to the Premier League.

Middlesbrough, who have a game in hand over Derby, beat Brentford to move six points clear of the second-placed Rams and Hull can overtake the East Midlands side with victory over Cardiff City on Wednesday.

"We have to change things very quickly," Clement said. "Two points out of nine is not the kind of form of a promotion side.

"We needed a reaction after one point out of six and didn't get it. The players were nervous, the crowd was nervous. I just thought it was an awful evening."

The performance was made all the more galling after Clement rested a large majority of his side in Saturday's FA Cup third-round win over Hartlepool.

Asked if the work rate was there from his players, Clement said: "No - that is difficult to explain. If you have rested a good amount of the side, then you would expect that to be there.

"Therefore, you have to question the mental side and the attitude to the application, rather than the physical side."

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