, Gary Rowett claims team selection is not to blame for cup defeat

Gary Rowett claims team selection is not to blame for cup defeat

The Rams put forward an uninspiring second half display as they crashed out of the EFL cup to fellow championship side Barnsley.

Johnny Russell and Mason Bennett scored either side of an Adam Jackson header to give the visitors a 2-1 lead going into the break but it wasn’t enough for Derby to see the game out as the Tykes equalised yet again. The game was capped off by Adam Hammill’s neat finish on 88 minutes that saw Barnsley into the next round where they will face a Tottenham side yet to win at Wembley this season.

The draw had revealed that the victors would face Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs in round three, and both sides were desperate to walk out at Wembley Stadium.

Derby made eleven changes to the side that demolished Hull in the league just four days prior, prompting many fans to blame the 3-2 loss on the team selection. But manager Gary Rowett insists that this was not the issue.

When discussing the team selection, Rowett said ‘I don’t think that cost us the game. I think it was down to different reasons’, citing the decision making as a key issue in his side’s performance. The Derby boss admitted his disappointment with second choice goalkeeper Jonathan Mitchell in the build up to Barnsley’s second goal, stating that he ‘made a mistake’ and that the goal ‘gave Barnsley a lift’.

The Derby boss claimed he was ‘disappointed’ with all of the goals that his side conceded, highlighting the first one especially, a header from 6 yards, as a low point for the Derby defence. Despite saying that the blame was not with the team selection, Rowett hinted that the lack of experience in the squad could have been costly.

There was a silver lining to this defeat for Derby fans though as they got to see academy graduates Callum Guy and Max Bird make their debuts whilst fan favourite George Thorne played the full 90 minutes at Oakwell, marking a huge step forward in his recovery from his latest injury setback.

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