Well that was an interesting evening at the oldest professional football ground in the world. Presume it's true but didn't know that. Not a bad little ground, once they let you in, good surface, three good stands and one non-existant one.
A number of interesting bits apart from the football. The warm up process is very different - some mini game but not as much, a lot of ball work with players in pairs and no shooting practice for strikers and others. Whether any of that will change remains to be seen. Secondly, I've never seen a Derby manager get applauded by opposition fans before the match. It'll be interesting to see if that continues into the season but it looks as if Frank is loved more widely than just in Derby. And thirdly, Jody Morris. For one relatively small he strikes me as a brooding, malevolent presence. Ying to Frank's yang. I wouldn't like to cross him if I were a player. And I'm very glad he is too. We need someone like that in the club - an Archie or a Carlin to tell everyone the truth. Wish we had it on the pitch a bit more. It wouldn't surprise me if he ended up as Chelsea's manager and not Frank. But that's for the future. I like him. He won't be bothered whether I do or don't.
And as for the game. Forgettable in many ways. Thomas continued to make a good case to feature regularly in the squad and maybe the team; Bogle was good in bits; I thought Tom Lawrence did well overall and Bryson too; Mason took his goal well and was lively; Andre was an interesting centre half and did OK.
We gave 3 sloppy goals away and that was disappointing. A number did their chances of featuring no good at all including Jamie Hanson (a pity), Thorne (a big pity), Roos, Blackman and Butters.
Saturday's team will be interesting because tonight was always a game to give opportunities to players to get some match practice but Saturday will be different and we will see whether and how Mount and Wilson fit in.
And, finally. Style. This feels to be very different from Rowett's way. And Clement's. Keeping possession, making triangles, players moving into space to receive the ball, plenty of hard work and lots of running when we don't have the ball, to close down and get it back but also getting it forward quickly. This style feels to me like hard work, especially at this time of the season. It wouldn't surprise me if we got off to a slow start, results wise. But stick with it fellow fans it could be a lot of fun.