If we are to get promoted we must win a lot of our games before the end of the season and to do that Rafa says we have to play well and if we don’t play well we still have to somehow win the game.
We did not play well in the second half today after Isaac Hayden went off injured and that last 20 minutes was nerve racking as Derby went for the equalizer – but we missed a number of gilt edged opportunities – again.
But unlike Wednesday night against QPR when we let in a goal in the last minute, we hung on this afternoon to get what was a vital win and the result was always going to be more important that the performance.
It puts us top of the Championship again with 62 points from 29 games and Reading could only draw 2-2 at Ipswich today, so we picked up 2 points on them today.
So we go 6 points ahead of the 3rd placed side with a much superior goal difference and a game in hand.
Rafa Benitez on the touchline this afternoon
Rafa will also be very pleased with the clean sheet and the back four today were very good and we expect big Grant Hanley to keep his place in the next game – he has vast experience of the Championship.
And Brighton will have to win their game at Brentford tomorrow to go back on top and they will be without classy center-back Lewis Dunk.
Dunk was sent off on Thursday in the 3-1 defeat at Huddersfield and will miss this game through suspension.
It was an ugly win today – just what we needed?
Maybe against Wolves next week we will play well in both halves.